caring for handcrafted wood

caring for handcrafted wood

A handcrafted wood piece can become a cherished heirloom, as long as it's taken care of properly. Read on to learn about caring for wood items and ensuring they last for generations.

One of the best parts about giving and receiving contemporary craft as a gift, is that, with the right love and care, that gifted item can last years, if not decades, and become a cherished heirloom as time goes on. However, its care might involve more than just keeping the work safe from physical damage or away from a precarious shelf, especially when it comes to caring for wood items.

Allan Cusworth - "Elm Candy Dish #1615"

Wood, like many traditional craft mediums, has tremendous functionality, especially when it comes to the preparation and presentation of food. Over time, usage will cause a food-safe finish to fade, and you’ll need to refresh the wood to continue using the piece without damaging it while keeping it safe to use for your home cooked meals. While this might be seen as an additional expense, or unwelcome extra work for the owner, true appreciators of handmade craft know that this small bit of upkeep is the added intimacy and connection we have with craft in our everyday lives. In a world of mass-produced items, there’s something special and satisfying about using and caring for a piece made just for you.
Ron Bazar - "Arbutus Server Set L"

Let’s use a wooden salad bowl as an example. According to CCBC artist and woodturner Allan Cusworth, one should protect their wood items from moisture and direct sunlight. To maintain the lustre of the food-safe finish, you can periodically apply curing oils such as Tung or Walnut , among others. Be sure to avoid vegetable oils, however, as they can turn rancid. For cleaning, hand washing is a must, leaving your bowl to air dry afterwards. Additionally, you should avoid putting it in the dishwasher and soaking it in water.

It is not too difficult to follow these rules to the piece you’re caring for; all it takes is the diligence that comes with caring for finely crafted, handmade items. You can check out some more examples of fine wood turning here:

 Header image: Allan Cusworth - "Sequoia Salad Bowl #1638"

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