INTO THE WOODS. Good Girl loves visiting the Aubry workshop at Overmeade Farm in Lenox, MA. It's always inspiring to see the beautiful things Kyra and Matty Hart are making there. Every object is made from wood they gather from the forests on their farm or source locally. Using traditional hand tools such as an ax and a knife, Matty's hand carving technique is influenced by traditional Scandinavian methods.
Kyra later paints the wooden objects using Milk Paint, a naturally safe historic paint made from skim milk or buttermilk, crushed limestone and pigments found around clay pits, or chimney soot and mineral colors crushed and powdered. The colors are deep, authentic and safe enough to lick - yes lick - which is the whole point. The bowls are just begging to be filled with porridge, or soup, or salad and nuts and chips.
They are amazingly beautiful bare naked, too, with nothing at all in them and yes, like some other naked things, you will be compelled to touch them. Each piece is unique and just waiting to become part of your family history. Matty and Kyra take pride in their work and gain much meaning from making items today that are sure to become heirlooms tomorrow. For the Harts, "treasured family items carry with them the story of countless meals made, much bread broken and many hours sat in the company of friends and family."
The wood takes on a 'life' of its own in the shape of our own memories and senses. For me, it makes it even more wonderful that my son's Aubry porridge bowl [a porringer] and spoon will gather layers of meaning in the same way the patterns of wood grain reveal age and beauty and a little bit of mystery, too...and this is why it feels sooooo good to give the gift of "good things made by good people."
Photo credits: All of Aubry wooden ware is made from green wood. 'Tree wet' is freshly cut, not dried or seasoned. The techniques and tools are specific to green wood carving. Pictured at top bowl turned green from a Maple tree finished with navy milk paint and 100% pure raw organic linseed oil. Lower left to right: Fan birds and two hand carved cherry spoons, a knife and an ax.