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Wood Care and Upkeep

Background and Inspiration

As a member of the Kawartha Woodturners Guild, I have been learning the art of turned bowls, cups and goblets for several years now. I have combined this with my interest in 12th Century England, and many of the wood working pieces are directly inspired by actual artifacts found on archaeological digs. The modern city of York, or Jorvik as the Anglo-Scandinavians knew it in the 10th Century, has been the site of many of these finds. The Jorvik Viking Centre houses many of these finds and have supported the publication of a number of books and research papers which I use as inspiration and information for my wood working.

Maintenance, Care and Feeding of the Wood Bowls, Cups and Spoons

All of my current bowls, cups, and spoons are all finished with a two-part process. I make use of multiple coats of a hemp seed oil from Homestead House in Toronto, along with a blend of salad bowl grade beeswax and mineral oil from Lee Valley as a top coat.

Any bowl, cup, or spoon that I make are all intended for use in your home or medieval reenactment. Some simple home maintenance steps need to be followed to ensure years of use.

  • Never leave food or drink in them any longer than necessary.
  • Wash using warm, slightly soapy water. Do not soak. Hand dry with a soft, clean cloth.
  • Do not ever use an abrasive cleanser, or scouring pad on them.
  • Hand dry immediately after washing.
  • Never, ever put them in a dishwasher.

Eventually, any piece will need to have fresh oil and wax applied to it. This is a very simple process. As wood is an organic material, any piece will need it does run the risk of breaking down and ultimately cracking if left to dry out. The oil and wax helps prevent this drying out from happening. Virtually every hardware store will carry an oil-based “butcher block finish”. These often have mineral oils in them and will work very well for the pieces. Follow the directions on the package and it should work fine. Normally, a very thin coat of oil is applied with a clean and dry cloth. Leave it to soak into the wood and then wipe off the excess. There is typically a “drying” period for the oils which can be from several hours to several days. A top coat of wax is applied to help seal the oils into the grain.

Please Contact Me if there are any questions or concerns you have with any piece you have purchased from me.