September 2, 2016

Handcrafted Refinement: Wooden Kitchenware

Natural materials have become ever so popular in interior design, particularly in the kitchen. While stone, clay, gold and copper are perennial favorites, we can’t hide our affection for a more rustic and raw material: wood.

Wood is quickly becoming a staple material in the handmade kitchenware market, and for good reason. Nothing is more comforting than the tactile feel of a hand-carved wooden spoon in your hand, whether you’re stirring a simmering pot of risotto, or pulling together some quick scrambled eggs for hungry mouths.

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Wooden boards are a favorite among cooks too. We’ve seen knotted and worn vintage boards from the early 19th century, as well as modern counterparts with mismatched woods that are combined in clever ways to create graphic patterns. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out Mastro Company for its sleek walnut end grain boards, and Gowanus Furniture, whose founder Pete Raho makes beautiful yet quirky custom boards with everything from monograms to morse code.

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Because these products are one-of-a-kind (dependent on both wood type and hand-styling) the joy in owning these pieces is knowing that you’ve got an original, one that you can treasure for years and pass on to loved ones.

This week we’re featuring one of our favorite makers at Propped – a business known for unique wooden kitchenware and handmade small-batch provisions – Facture Goods. Aron Fischer is a fourth-generation maker, tinkerer, woodworker and designer, and both owns and runs his small shop/studio located in Boonville, MO. His unique vision stems from his desire to mix and match materials that aren’t usually combined. Woods such as hard maple and walnut are layered with other mediums such as clay or brass to produce a set of tools and accessories beloved by chefs, home cooks, and hobbyists alike. Raw and stunningly misshapen, Facture Goods’ pieces are playful yet elegant and modern.

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Favorite pieces include handmade wooden boards, with premium woods from cherry, to walnut and ambrosia maple. But it’s what he does with the finishes that make his boards stand out; items are slashed with tinted markings, from polka dot to plaid. If this sounds too Alice in Wonderland for your taste, we urge you to take a peek at his earthy – shall we even say sexy? – results. They’re items that are fit for even the most earnest of breakfast tables.

We wouldn’t be doing our wooden tools justice if we left out a few tips about care. Whether you’re prolonging the life of your cutlery, platters, or boards, here are a few suggestions to help extend the lifespan of your goods:

  • Give them a good scrub with lemon and salt: For tough dirt that can’t be eliminated with water, try scrubbing salt with half a lemon. Just sprinkle coarse salt onto your wooden piece, scour the surface with the lemon, let it sit for 5 minutes and then remove any dirt with a quick rinse.
  • Never soak, always rinse: We mean never. Ever. Soaking wood in water will cause your pieces to crack or warp. Instead, clean with warm, soapy water and then towel dry to preserve the bark.
  • Use a natural oil like beeswax or mineral oil: If your wooden kitchenware are doing heavy lifting in the kitchen, consider oiling them every few weeks to keep them from drying out. Opting for a natural oil like mineral oil or beeswax is both inexpensive and eco-friendly.

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Interested in learning more about Facture Goods? Follow Aron Fischer on Instagram at @facturegoods.