After a nice long winter/spring break, I am SO back in action making new cutting boards and serving trays for my Etsy shop, Red Onion Woodworks. I have to admit that I was pretty burned out after the awesome but exhausting holiday rush as a result of my feature in Sunset Magazine. It was really great (and lucrative), but when all was said and done, I needed some time to catch up with other life projects including my new job at Gathering Together Farm, my kids and family, and general housekeeping. Now, however, I’m really itching to start cranking out some new beautiful boards.
I’ve been feeling really inspired lately by the (occasional) nice weather and a new batch of lumber that is really pretty wild. The thicker boards came from trees harvested just a couple miles up the road from my house. A friend of ours drives a rock truck and used to have his own sawmill. When he was delivering rock to the nearby logging operation, he noticed that there were about ten huge logs covered in burls that were going to be sent out for paper pulp. He recognized that the logs, though not perfect, had huge potential for someone, so he back hauled them into town and milled them up. The resulting lumber is pretty incredible. It’s got burly swirls and ripples of figure as well as streaks of color from straw to honey to coffee with inky black lines of naturally occurring spalt and slated weathering. Much of it has bark inclusions or cracks or is just too “weird” to be made into furniture, but for me, it’s perfect. (Thanks, John!)
The boards I’ve been working with recently come from short log chunks that Henry accumulated on our property and in his travels around the coast range. One of his horse owning clients cut down a large maple tree in his yard and was going to split it into firewood, but Henry traded him a hoof trim for a few of the prettiest sections of the log. Our friend Stu milled it all up into lumber on his homebuilt bandsaw and kiln dried it. When all sanded and finished, these pieces are really nice. Many of them have short cracks and knots and other such “character” marks, but they make good rustic serving board.
The board in the photo above came from some lumber I got last fall, and all the little brown markings are scarred evidence of a woodpecker’s efforts.
It feels a little weird to be overly self promotional, but I just wanted to let y’all know that I am finally working on boards again and didn’t abandon the business completely. I’m planning on running a giveaway soon, but I’m still trying to get the shop well stocked. Building up inventory has been a little harder than I thought it would be because apparently some of you have noticed the new activity, and sales have been better than expected for the past week or so. Anyway, thanks for being patient, thanks for buying stuff (Mother’s Day is just around the corner!), and stay tuned for an upcoming giveaway.
(Click on photos for the actual item listings.)