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Credit: Jussi Leinonen / Lapin Kansa

Credit: Jussi Leinonen / Lapin Kansa


I was once in harmony with the world, handcrafting bows for professional musicians, utilising traditional techniques and materials. Having my workshop in the middle of nowhere, north of the polar circle, gave me the peace to live and work (when I’m not busy roaming the wilderness or playing Bach or rock’n’roll).

What started to worry me was the increasing scarcity of tone woods, ivory and mammoth, as well as a diminishing knowledge in traditional crafts and methods of performing music. Through endless discussions with colleagues arose a necessity to search for a solution. With a background in forestry science and a passion for luthierie, I was inspired to finally set up a laboratory in my own home, moving me from talk into action.

Wood, being the marvellous natural phenomenon it is, was my logical starting point in order to understand it’s structural qualities and translate them into the materials of the future.

Armin Seebass, co-founder

Credit: Jussi Leinonen / Lapin Kansa

Credit: Jussi Leinonen / Lapin Kansa


Throughout many years of intimate coexistence in forests, laboratories and workshops, the concept of what wood intrinsically ‘is’ developed strongly within me. Therefore, when the time came to create a replacement material, I knew that this material had to resonate with me in the same way – not only in look, feel, inner structure, physical properties, adhesiveness and machine/tool workability but also in delivering the same amazing three-dimensional sound quality.

These acoustic characteristics were paramount in our development and as a result, we have come up with a natural fibre solution that can seamlessly replace ebony in almost any application.

PARTONES-ebony: sustainability without worries and absolutely ebony-free.

  • Glue it with any adhesive you would normally use for wood. 

  • Use sharp tools with hard blades; for the underside of fingerboards, toothed blades can be helpful.

  • With hand tools, you will have to respect the grain as you would do with wood.

  • For a nice finish, use a drop of oil as you would when finishing natural ebony.


Ivory was once used in many applications within the world of musical instruments but of course, this material is something that no responsible individual will work with – and for good reason. Having made frogs and bow-tips for decades with bone, mammoth and various bits of plastic, I still felt there was something missing from these that the sympathetic qualities of natural ivory can provide. I therefore decided to develop a replacement material that was stronger than these alternatives and also provided traditional beauty for bow-tips and baroque frogs and buttons. 

Therefore, using the experience we gained through the PARTONES-ebony development, we created PARTONES-ivory based on the same core principles and exacting standards.

  • Easier to carve, less subject to the rigours of ageing and available in larger dimensions than bone.

  • Stronger, more durable and far more beautiful than plastic. 

  • Much lighter than silver. 

Ebony is the first wood species we directed our efforts towards recreating – however, it will not be the last. More are to come in the future.

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