Harvesting and foraging
After we collect material, it is brought back to the shop to be stored and processed. Unused logs are sealed on the ends to retain moisture. Much of our work in considered green woodworking, which is based upon creating from fresh logs and doing a majority of the work while the log is still “green.” Logs or branches are split or riven which follows the fibers of the wood and creates incredibly strong pieces which can be quite thin as opposed to working with sawn lumber which cuts through the fibers of the wood.
After the material is riven, we create a blank from axe work. We are creating a block of rough dimension before we begin the the actual carving work. For both spoons and bowls, this is the point of heavy axe work and the precursor to hollowing with an adze. In fact, most of the overall carving work on spoons and bowls is done with an axe.
Roughing out and hollowing
The pieces are brought very close to their finished dimensions once the carving process begins.. The texture that is left on our work is generally part of the process, but we also will add decoration or additional texture at this point as well.
After some initial rough hollowing and carving, continued axe and knife work hone in on the shape and profile of the piece by hand and eye. Design are hand drawn, organically depending on the individual piece of wood, but based off of our current product line.
Work is left to dry, for spoons a day or two and for bowls it can be two weeks or more. After drying, pieces are given finishing cuts with sharp tools and no sandpaper or abrasives are used after that point. We have started burnishing some of our pieces with a ceramic tool that leaves a wonderful finish and highlights the tools marks, while looking like the piece is new, but old at the same time.
Painting and oiling
It is now time to finish. Pieces are generally painted using non-toxic and food contact safe, milk paint and always finished using pure flax or linseed oil. We are now experimenting with producing our own flax oil from our own flax plants and developing botanical and natural pigment based paints to be used on all of our products beginning in 2020. Check out our online shop to see finished pieces available or made to order.