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Taylor Guitars & The Future of Ebony

In this video, Taylor Guitars co-founder Bob Taylor talks about the world’s dwindling supply of ebony, the realities of ebony sourcing in Cameroon, and Taylor’s efforts to preserve a sustainable supply for the entire musical instrument community. With the co-purchase of Crelicam, an ebony mill in Cameroon in 2011, Taylor began to develop a fresh framework for sustainable sourcing, one that blends socially responsible forestry with job training that will help Cameroonian communities support themselves and improve their living standards.

From the Taylor website: “We need to use the ebony that the forest gives us,” emphasizes Bob, who has personally met with a number of other prominent guitar manufacturers since the Crelicam purchase to spread awareness of the new realities regarding ebony sourcing. While the current conditions don’t mean that the days of all-black ebony are entirely gone, they do mean that if we want to ensure a sustainable ebony supply for future generations of instruments and players, we must embrace greater cosmetic diversity.

The story was recently picked up by the Los Angeles Times. In the article, but Ron White, Taylor was also quoted as saying, regarding the workers at the mill:

“We are going to start doing a lot of the processing and that will provide more jobs and more higher-paying jobs and triple the value of what they can sell, instead of just the raw material,” Taylor said. “There is money in the ebony, and they deserve to have more of that.”

Click these links for more info:

Taylor Guitar’s Commitment to Sustainability

Taylor Guitar’s page on Sustainable Ebony

LA Time’s Article about Talyor Guitar’s purchase of the Crelicam Mill

Matthias Merkel Hess of Eco Art Blog has a New Project, looking for your help!

I haven’t been posting on the Eco Art Blog recently; as I’ve said before, others are doing a better job at that than I have the time for. Also, the end of grad school has piled on a lot of time-consuming activities, like mounting a thesis show.

But I am happy to announce a new project I’m working on at the 18th Streets Arts Center in Santa Monica, California. It’s called Fine Art 626-394-3963, and I’m inviting you to call or email me to talk about art and what you want from artists and the institutions that show art work.

The project really needs your participation, so I hope you’ll call or email. For more, visit the project blog at fineart6263943963.blogspot.com.

Go to Eco Art Blog

Climate change = culture change: the hugeness of the challenge


We tend to talk about the idea of cultural change without thinking through what that means. The size of the job of retooling society to achieve an ecological age by 2050  is immense.

Emerging from the 20th century, it’s hard not to see this as a fundamentally Orwellian task.  However, if we do embrace the idea that culture has a responsiblity to move forwads, we have to start thinking in practical cutural realities. I recommend reading the working paperCulture|Futures Cultural Transformations for a Cultural Age by 2050 edited by Olaf Gerlach-Hansen which was released yesterday. It begins the ambitious process of evaluating if we even have the means by which we get from here to there.

The degree and scope of the cultural challenge is … exacerbated by how little time we have to bring about change. The transformation must be completed globally in 40 years, which in terms of comprehensive cultural transformations is an extremely short period – just a generation or two at most.

The time factor adds to the number of challenges concerning identity, lifestyle and habits to be addressed, since the entire world will vividly remember its old version, while developing the new.

That’s only a quick flavour of the paper which served as a working document to kickstart yestereday’s symposium…

Download the PDF [2.43MB] here.

Illustration: Glowing Climate

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The day RSA Arts & Ecology met US Energy Secretary Steven Chu

It’s not every day you get to meet the person who’s in the single most important job for tackling global climate change. Last week, environment journalist Paul Quinn was attending the Nobel Laureate Summit on climate change’s gala dinner on behalf of the RSA Arts & Ecology Centre. Walking up …
Go to RSA Arts & Ecology