Rustic Wares 10 year Anniversary
Posted on January 06 2023
RusticWares is 10 years old! That equals thousands of RusticWares products in people’s homes. Hundreds of charcuterie boards, chopping blocks, wood spoons, spatulas, comfort birds, zen rocks are being used and loved.
I’ve made a few ornamental, abstract art pieces before – but what I love, what gets me excited to go in to the shop and create is making pieces that people will use. Making pieces that people will love. That will take a place in their home and become a part of it.
Knowing there are cutting boards (how I started) in some people’s homes for the past 10 years that they use everyday? Well that’s just awesome. I don’t use plastic. I don’t use synthetic materials. All natural local grown, harvested, milled, kiln dried, sanded, smoothed, oiled and worked here in Connecticut and shipped around the country.
Trees are not being cut down simply for my boards and utensils. What I use are the cut offs and cast aways from much bigger projects. Many times, the Maple I use is ruined by the Ambrosia beetle, or ash destroyed by the ash borer beetle. The black walnut and cherries are taken down to make way for new homes, or they have become too big for the property to manage.
Awhile ago I transitioned away from the striped look of mixed wood cutting boards to all natural one-piece live/rough edged charcuterie boards. Uniform pieces cut and glued together didn’t fit my ethos. I wanted to use what the wood provided me. I preferred the natural over the manufactured. I respect and admire what some artisans can do with cutting boards that take on a 3D look – its amazing work, but not my thing.
Charcuterie boards saw a massive increase in popularity over the past few years. I am split on if the pandemic helped or hurt the popularity. On one hand, people were home more often and not going out to eat, on the other COVID limited the number of get togethers people were having. However now that we are out of the woods – there is a new resurgence of popularity. People showing off the renovations they did during lock down, reconnecting with old friends and new.
There is something about having people over, putting together a charcuterie board of your favorite things – and things you know your friends will love. Gathered around the kitchen or outside around the patio table. Enjoying being with each other. Its simple. Its easy. There should be no pretensions - just relaxing and enjoying the time spent together – what more could you really want.
This holiday season it seems charcuterie boards went in to overdrive with butter boards, charcutertrees, charcutercabins and every other variation on the classic board with meats, cheeses, veggies, crackers, breads, nuts. I believe the best board is when you use up what’s in your fridge and cabinets and what you and your guests love. Don’t put anything on there you don’t like just because you think it is “supposed” to be on a board.
The next step was wood kitchen utensils.
“Wooden spoons hold a great deal of home in them. Mom’s wooden spoons is like the worn marble staircase it bears its use cumulatively.”
Old farmers proverb.
I include this quote with every wood utensil I sell. And its not an old farmers proverb and not from an old farmer. A friend off-handed texted me this once. It was a throw away to her, but it struck me as poignant and the perfect quote to accompany every wood utensil I sell.
Wooden spoons. Is there anything simpler? Testing soup, sauce or gravy straight from a steaming pot on a wooden spoon. It can be replicated with a metal or plastic spoon – it just cant. And the food simply will not taste as good.
Solid. Trust-worthy. Reliable. These are a few of the adjectives I would use if asked to describe a wooden spoon. Rubber, plastic and metal taste “off”. Ive seen rubber spatulas worn down to a nub – where od you think that went? Wood will wear over time, but Id much rather ingest a grain of nature grown maple than lab grown manufactured plastic.
That brings us to another point – manufactured goods. The quality of everything has gone down dramatically over time. As companies look to increase and maximize profits, quality invariably suffers. If it is a publicly traded company, there is no excuse for not having 5% YoY growth. It is demanded and expected by the board & shareholders. It is not enough to maintain.
This growth at all costs always results in an inferior product that designed with planned obsolescence. Designed to fail. Typically timed perfectly to coincide with the end of the warranty. The fact that designing things to fail within a specified time is a thing is downright shameful – but here we are.
There are still companies who stand behind their products and make them darn tough – like Darn Tough socks, LL Bean and Patagonia. No questions asked refund policies. The fact that your old fridge in the garage lst longer than the last two brand news ones you bought combined. You cannot replace phone batteries anymore. Parts are more expensive than the entire product. Ink costs more than a brand-new printer with the same ink cartridge!
Companies are doing this – and we are letting them do it by continuing to buy these products.
Well a trusty wooden spoon won’t need new batteries, a repayment to come out to your house to tell you its passed warranty. A wooden spoon just is.
I’ve gotten off topic a bit – so lets circle back.
RusticWares is 10! A decade of fine wood products in your home and given s gifts. Wood utensils that stand the test of time and provide warmth in any type of home. In woods, the desert, by the ocean or up in the mountains. From a studio apartment, to a single wide, to a double wide, to the suburbs and exurbs. From LA to Maine the biggest of mansions to the smallest of Tiny Houses on Wheels – wooden spoons will and should be found in any kitchen.
Pull out your charcuterie board and throw a party in our honor – in your honor, for the dog, for the cat’s birthday, for the hamster making it another year. You don’t need a reason to enjoy yourself. Live the good life whenever you can. Enjoy the things you have and slow down enough to realize you already have everything you need.
The world, national and local news is filled with garbage to scare you. Stop listening to it, take a break from the TV. Read a book, stare at the wall or better yet, cook a really long dinner. Make risotto, cook a chicken in the Dutch oven, make sauce, meatballs and pasta from scratch. Or just go outside and “bath” in the woods, a park, your yard or an alleyway or side street. Take deep breaths and feel the cold air as it enters your lungs. Feel the rain or snow on your face and the cold at your fingertips. Feel the seasons. Get it before it and you are gone.
Join me in celebrating this year and looking forward to the next ten.