Here's how we transform an ordinary log into extraordinary tableware and more. Learn how we upcycle wood into bowls and boards below.
Waste Not: We Extract Beauty from Trees Left to Rot
We receive most of all our trees from local tree services. Through the years Spencer has spread the word that he will purchase older or diseased trees that are generally discarded, chipped up or burned. Local tree service providers now have an opportunity to unload these trees and profit on logs that generally have little value in the logging industry.
Mike Makes Boards. Jay Turns Bowls. Together, They Turn Rot Into Beauty
The logs are stored in our back lot. Most of the logs are waiting for Jay to cut into large sections for bowl turning, while the smaller logs are saved for Mike to make boards with our mill. Jay will take half a log and set it on the lathe. He can turn a full set of bowls from half a log. Depending on the size, he can turn a bowl starting from 21" down to 9". Generally he can get 6 bowls out of that half a log.
50-70 bowls is all in a day’s work for Jay. What’s Next?
After he has turned generally 8-12 sets of bowls per day which, depending on the size or the age of the log could average 50-70 bowls per day, he then puts all the turned sets in a container to dry the bowls. Mike as well, after he cuts up the boards will stack them in another container to dry. We use dehumidifiers and fans in these containers to dry our bowls down to 6%.
No Stray Mark Can Stand Up to the Final 220-grit Pass
When the bowls are dried to 6%, they are brought up to our bowl sanders; the boards are brought to our wood workers to make our wooden serving boards and trays. The bowl sanders start sanding the bowls with an 80 grit down to a fine 220 grit sanded finish.
Tung Oil, Carnauba Wax, and Milk Paint? It's Not Witches Brew, It's Natural Finishes
After the bowl is finely sanded, it is brought down to the bowl finishers to sand flat bottoms on the back of each bowl. Each bowl is then finished and sealed with all natural products. This could include: tung oil, shellac, mineral oil, walnut oil, carnauba wax, milk paint, or vinegar. It all depends on the style or species of the wooden bowl.
Finally Your Bowl Is In Good Hands: Yours
After all the bowls, boards, and other products are finished, they are
brought over to our Gallery here in Gill. The majority are stored
in the shipping room where our production manager Marie processes our
orders for our wholesale accounts, Website, or our new store in Boston.
She and her daughter Shelby will then pack up the order (with eco friendly
materials) to all the customers nationwide, as well as, some
internationally (which mostly includes Canada and Japan). Lastly,
Scottie, our FedEx ground man (who we love) is always there ready and
willing to pick up our large heavy boxes.
We relish the opportunity to bring forth something functional and beautiful from something that otherwise might have ended up in a wood chipper! There's a lot more that goes into our bowls than whatever you decide to use them for.