Just taking a break from sorting today's olive harvest and came across this conversation. I've tried the lye-curing method in the past; it worked well but the olives lost most of their flavour. The simplest method I've found so far that keeps the most flavour is to wash and prick the olives, then immerse in brine (1/4 cup plain salt to 1 quart of water (apologies for imperial)). Stir once a day for a week. Then drain and put in fresh brine. Do this for 3 - 6 weeks. After 3 weeks taste to see if the bitterness is gone.
Once they taste OK, bottle in fresh brine, or oil, or vinegar, with herbs, chilli, garlic etc.