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My Business Name: Chester P. Basil's

Chester = (an old friend of mine) P for (perseverance) Basil (my favorite herb)

My Name: Mark Hamm



American Woodenware

          From the days of the open hearth , through wood fired cooking stoves, to today’s modern ranges, great cooks have always kept an assortment of wooden spoons, paddles, boards and other functional woodenware close by. Their forms have taken many shapes over the centuries. The early settlers brought with them different ideas of what a wooden spoon or paddle should look like, based on their various ethnic backgrounds. These ideas have gone through a melting pot to form the basic shapes we have today. The types of wood and the tools used to shape them have also seen changes over the years. The early settler, whose very existence was based on his ability to take raw materials and transform them into functional items. Many a pioneer would spend countless hours during the long winter nights, working by the light of the hearth, to fashion wood into functional shapes for the kitchen and farm.

          The Good Ship Hampshire docked in the port of Philadelphia in the year 1756. Three brothers ,my ancestors, began a relationship with the land through farming and the working of wood. This reverence for all things natural still resonates with me. The woodenwares I make with my hands are for the present and the future, as well as the past.

          Cherry and maple are predominantly the woods I use in making my wares. The use of mineral oil when the wood appears to be dry, is recommended. On occasion the surface may roughen from soaking in liquid, this can be smoothed with fine sandpaper or a Scotch Brite pad if desired, but continued use will accomplish the same thing.

 

Mark Robert Hamm
Designer and Maker
Of Chester P. Basil’s - “An American Wood Spoon”

          Throughout a varied and winding career path I’ve never strayed far from my love for working with wood. The smell of a freshly sawn board, the feel of a smoothened piece of wood, the visual appearance of highly figured curly cherry are all things I’m allowed to enjoy every day as I practice my trade . Some refer to the pieces I create as works of art. I look at them as a means to an end. I love to cook, my second life long obsession.


          I’ve always favored the organic form and attempt to celebrate it within my work. There are just so many variations a curve can take as it leaves the straightness of a handle and flows into the functional end of a piece. I like to think of my pieces as the end result of ongoing tweeking.


          I view my craftsmans skill as as a thoughtful study and refinement of discipline. While the design aspect is a continually blossoming search for the real essence of what I sense is within and which needs to be born over and over in the hope of achieving some form of nirvanna between me, wood and my never ending epicurean interests...


          My strongest beliefs surround my ideas of what craftsmanship is to me and those who enjoy my pieces. I believe for me craftsmanship is a relationship between the organic, “wood” the non-organic, “metal and abrasive”. The working of the two with ones own hands to produce a result .The working of two hands together in a truly unique way shall be my on going journey down a varied and winding path.

 


Wooden Cooking Utensils | Wooden Salad Tongs | Salad Utensils | Wooden Ladles