18 April 2017
Bowyer & Toulson
Meet Stuart, from local company Bowyer & Toulson, based just South of Vancouver in Ladner, BC. He designs and produce heirloom charcuterie boards using wood sourced from local trees that have either been removed for safety and development reasons, or have fallen due to a storm. We were first introduced to Bowyer & Toulson's beautiful pieces in the fall of 2016 and immediately felt his beautiful designs and values were a perfect match for Nineteen Ten and our customers. Each board is lovingly shaped and finished to perfection. We are quite taken with the individual beauty of each board, from the grain of the wood to the organic form of the handles, a true heirloom gift to compliment anyone's table or kitchen.
We are hosting a giveaway for one of these gorgeous boards now until May 1st. Spend $25 in the shop for your chance to win! More details in-store.
Q + A
HOW DID BOWYER & TOULSON COME ABOUT?
The concept of BOWYER & TOULSON started about two years ago, I was on West 6th Avenue in Vancouver in January and an old cherry tree had fallen after a big wind storm had hit the city. As often happens with our urban trees, it was being chopped up and chipped to be used as mulch. Cherry wood has beautiful, rich colours of reds, pinks and creams, and I remember thinking I would love to re-purpose some of that wood and give the tree an extension of life by making heirloom wood products.
I did not have the capacity to collect urban trees and mill them myself so I started looking for people, with a similar ethos, who could. Two years later BOWYER & TOULSON was born and our supply chain, called the Urban Forestry Network in place. This network is a trusted group of urban tree owners, arborists, mill workers, and finishers who are re-purposing trees that have either fallen from winter storms, have to be removed for safety reasons, or have special municipal permits to be removed.
WHERE & HOW DO YOU SELECT THE WOOD FOR THE BOARDS ?
We only used wood from the urban forestry network and because of this network we are able to also provide the provenance of the tree we used to make the board. We mainly use hardwoods like ash, cherry and maple for our boards. Sometimes we are lucky and have some sycamore and walnut but it really depends on what is available.
WHAT DOES YOUR DESIGN PROCESS LOOK LUKE FROM START TO FINISHED ?
The design process always tries to enhance the beauty of the wood so we let its colours and grains determine the shape of the board. Where the handle should be and what angle etc.
The process then starts with a dry board of wood. We hand draw the outline of the board and then start cutting it out. Next comes the sanding process. We like to finish our boards to a silky-smooth finish and that involves about 5 rounds of sanding. Then onto stamping the board with our name plus the boards unique number. Our inventory system links that number to the trees provenance.
Next is my favorite part, the oiling. We make our own wood balm which is a combination of mineral oil and beeswax from a local beekeeper. The balm is 100% food safe and brings out the wonderful rich colours of the wood colours and grain. This curing process takes about 3 days and several coats of wood balm. Once dry we add the label that has both the provenance of the tree we used and its unique number.
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR DESIGNS AND YOUR STYLE?
At BOWYER & TOULSON we are dedicated to the modern adaptation of traditional methods to make timeless heirloom boards that can last a lifetime. We endeavour to keep our designs durable but as simple as possible so the beauty of the wood can speak for itself.
WHAT IS YOUR WORKSHOP LIKE?
Now that depends if you are asking me or my wife. As you can imagine there are a lot of boards hanging on the walls in various stages of construction. We have a method well worked out now and there is always good music playing. The workshop itself is small and located just west of the heritage village in Ladner.
WHAT'S SOMETHING ABOUT BOWYER & TOULSON WE MAY NOT KNOW ?
BOYWER & TOULSON was established as a social enterprise with the vision to reduce the environmental impact to our local forests through the creation of an urban forestry network. We endeavour to continue to build innovation capacity around that social purpose by creating connections between seniors and youth to help reduce isolation. We hope to grow enough in 2017 to be able to create that inclusive work environment.
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