Endemic to the western Mediterranean region and Malta’s national tree, the sandarac gum tree (għargħar), rises from her roots, shape- bent by strong winds to reach for her last green ♣ cone (marine plywood board, 29.5x21x1.8cm). Previously abundant, by 2015 this tree is found on the endangered list as no more than 104 sandaracs are left standing in the Maltese Islands (www.manikatafarmers.com). No longer a clarion call (→previous 7), the rustling leaves can only whisper for us to come to grips with our eco-systems, to learn that we must protect the earth’s flora before time is up. Beware, be aware. In June 2015, thousands of ordinary people living in the islands rose and marched to Save Żonqor, in protest against the decades-long environmental exploitation, noise and other pollution, and overdevelopment (→index finger of 5♣).
Pyrography or pyrogravure is the art of wood or leather burning, an old technique which was popular in ancient Egyptian times (→Queen♣). Also referred to as poker-work, a design is stencilled onto a surface with a special burner tool, nowadays similar to a soldering iron, while shading is achieved by burning the surface at different temperatures. The contemporary art form can decorate any imaginable wooden surface or object.