Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Stylish and Functional Kitchen Utensils made at Earthwise.

We had a great time on Saturday 8th February with two public Joy of Wood workshops at Earthwise in Subiaco.

The morning workshop was "Making Kitchen Spatulas and Salad Servers". The 12 participants made a wonderful array of spatulas and salad servers. Most people made at least a spatula plus a pair of salad servers, from a range of nine different hardwoods, using coping saws, small panel saws,  spokeshaves, rasps and block planes. A final bit of sanding before the Orange Oil was applied.

The afternoon workshop was "Making a Kitchen Chopping Board". What a beautiful bunch of boards were crafted by the 8 participants! Starting with a variety of pieces of wood, most of which had had a former life, each person designed and made their boards using hand tools including saws, spokeshaves, planes, rasps and even caving tools.

Once again  I was too busy to take photos - except for just one at the end of the second workshop. The pic below is of 12 year old Seb, proudly showing the chopping board he had made. It was a piece of "Pacific Maple" which had formerly been part of a Dressing Table top from a piece of furniture made in Melbourne in the 1950's or early 1960's. Termites had eaten their way up the back leg of the unit, so it had been thrown out on the roadside verge for free firewood. I had spotted it and recognised it as a treasure trove of materials. That was over a year ago, and Seb was the latest to utilise some of the timber from that piece of furniture. He can be rightfully proud.

Seb designed and made this kitchen chopping board, and did the small relief carving on it. Very nice.
So what are these workshops about? They are about learning and using simple traditional woodworking tools and hand skills to create beautiful and functional items from recycled wood. Hand tool use are foundational woodworking skills. They empower us to make and fix wooden things around us, they enable us to better understand and appreciate timber, they equip us to experience the pleasure and joy of working wood. This is stuff we appreciate doing together, as we can talk and laugh as we work - for there are no screaming power tools.  Life-giving stuff.

Want to be part of the next round of public workshops? Send me an email to to be put on the list to receive notification about future workshops.

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