Handmade Cutting Boards with The Birch Tree

February 18, 2018

 The Birch Tree booth is always filled with one-of-a-kind objects both handmade and vintage. We talked about the process and love behind the beautiful cutting boards in her booth. And everyone in the family helps to create these incredible pieces.

For people who may not know, you make all the cutting boards in your booth. How did you get into woodworking and handmade cutting boards to begin with?
I have always loved the craftsmanship of antique furniture. My father is a retired engineer, but a wood worker at heart. He built the house I grew up in and still lives there on our family ranch in Central Texas today with my mom. After he retired, during his new found free time, he got back into his shop and started doing some wood working with some of the trees that had fallen on our ranch.

 

One day I followed him…its hard to explain to someone…but the smell of the wood, the beauty in the grain of the wood, the dust floating in the sunshine from the shop window…it was magical! I fell in love with all of it. I started asking questions, and asking to make something of my own. My creative mind and his engineer’s mind don’t always see eye to eye on my designs and ideas for pieces, but that’s part of the fun. Cutting boards were his suggestion and I haven’t looked back since we started!

 

Could you describe the types of wood you use, why they are good for cutting boards? Are some particularly difficult to deal with?
We are currently using Black Walnut, White Oak, and Texas Native Pecan. All of these trees are considered hard wood and are great for cutting boards and furniture. The Black Walnut is more rare and therefore more valuable. The grain and color variation in the Pecan is my favorite. TheBlack Walnut has a dark, rich, and majestic feel and look. The White Oak comes across just like the trees, strong and will stand the test of time.

 

On some of our cutting boards, we combine all three types of wood and create a beautiful piece of functional art.

I hear this is a family business. Can you talk about how everybody helps?
 

I hear this is a family business. Can you talk about how everybody helps?

At the Birch Tree, we as a family all contribute. My husband is my muscle and helps me set up for shows and haul furniture and helps with the kids when I am at a show. My father is my mentor and voice of reason. My mother helps with my kids during shows and first sparked my interest in all things antique and vintage. Both my daughter(10) and son (9) help my father and I in the shop. They glue up cutting boards, sweep the shop, and help condition the boards. It brings us all closer together and is truly a tradition being passed down through the generations.

 

What’s your favorite thing to make?

My favorite board to make is the one that is unexpected. I look at each slab of wood as a blank canvas. Some slabs have knots and curves and those are the most fun to design with. I try to incorporate all those gorgeous knots and curves into my pieces to create one-of-a-kind pieces.

 

You also have a lot of cool vintage furniture in your booth, where is your favorite place to shop for vintage pieces to refurbish?

I love to shop Round Top Antiques Week, Fredericksburg Trade Days, and most of all the small mom-and-pop antique shops. I love being a small business owner and love to support other small businesses.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to start making and selling items to sell?

My advice to someone wanting to start a small business would be find something you love and are passionate about because there will be hard times but if you are passionate about it, then you will find a way to be successful. Reach out to other small business owners and creators, ask for advice, listen, stay humble, and be yourself don’t try to be anyone else. Good luck and I can’t wait to see what you create!

 

 

 

Aren't in town to see The Birch Tree in person? Purchase some select items online here and make sure to visit the Birch Tree's Facebook here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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