My Business Name: Chester P. Basil's
Chester = (an old friend of mine) P for (perseverance) Basil (my favorite
My Name: Mark Hamm
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.
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.
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”
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.
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...
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.