Too Beautiful to Use ?

I actually hear this quite a lot after I’ve finished forging handles on my chopping boards/cheese boards/food platters !

Sometimes they take me days to make, which don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love making. I explain to customers the length it usually starts off at and how I heat it up and bash it about with my hammer until it does what its told. Sounds easy right ? But it doesn’t always go according to plan. Luckily for me, the customer does not see me as I struggle greatly going backwards on what I had previously designed using plasticine, but now the steel is so hot I have lost control and my mind just will not compute what seemed so straight forward to make with cold plasticine. And this is what consumes my hours of making, though occasionally, and not as often as I would like, everything falls into place magically and voila..I have a handle made in a couple of hours. Now why am I telling you this ? 

I truly believe a lot of people do appreciate the skill and the time taken by me to produce a finished piece of work but then they consider the piece ‘too beautiful’ to use !!  Argh !!  I was recently told this from a lady who purchased a large chopping board and was going to use it for display only !!! NO…

It’s strange, I never keep anything for best. I like to see it, touch it, enjoy using it. I’m thinking of expensive bone china, crystal cut glasses, vases, beautiful glass bowls, as just a few examples.

My Nana always had a glass cabinet and kept things for ‘best’ stored in there. They were on show and on special occasions, they did come out and get used, but were lovingly washed/dryed and returned back to the cabinet for another special occasion.

Now I do break or smash things at times, but I don’t stop using them.  There is so much pleasure in using the beautiful item, more so than admiring it in a glass cabinet.

It seems that some people liken beautiful things to quality, which is good, but also, they liken it to something that must be preserved, protected and kept perfect.  If never used, they will never destroy them or make the object less attractive to themselves…why ?  Maybe it’s because they feel the effort made by the maker is not appreciated. Maybe they will feel other people will think they are being disrespectful to the object. In their mind they develop this negative idea that using the ‘beautiful item’ would cause them less enjoyment !

I liken it to a new pair of shoes. They’re really nice shoes, (expensive shoes) but I don’t keep them stashed away in their box. I wear them. In fact I wear them to death, wear them out and they only last me for a few years, but I’ve enjoyed wearing them and I’m happy to replace them. 

My chopping board for instance is made to be used. It oozes quality and uniqueness. It wants to be used. It wants to be shown off. It wants to show signs of life. It likes to grow in character with chopping marks. It takes minimum maintenance, maybe a feed of orange oil once a year. It’s hard wood. It will not wear out. It will last you a life time and it’s cheaper than a lot of shoes !  And it will probably outlast your lifetime.

Do you have a sentimental piece of wood stored away somewhere unseen that you would like to see transformed and made useable ?

If you have an idea for a custom made board, please be in touch !


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