Behind the Scenes with Southern Woodworker Josh Nava

I have truly been loving the collaborations we’ve been doing with our Southern Artisan Collection. These are some seriously talented makers keeping crafts and skills alive for future generations and producing beautiful, handmade goods.

I wanted to share some of the behind-the-scenes from one of our latest collaborations, with woodworker Josh Nava and the hand carved Wooden Sauce Spoon.

Thanks to social media, I found out about Josh and a project he did called 365 spoons which truly helped him study the design and craft he was practicing. If you aren’t following them on Instagram, it’s well worth the follow for the beautiful images. I loved the beautiful work he produced, the challenge of the concept and the creativity of the project. Through his company Suburban Pallet based in Nashville, TN, he is also helping to cultivate a community of artisan woodworkers honing their craft.

I had been wanting to do a wooden spoon for quite a long time, as the wooden spoons in my collection are very special to me and symbolized a familiar kitchen item in my mother, grandmother & great grandmother’s (Nana) kitchens. It’s a lasting tool when properly cared for, and a distinctive, meaningful one at that.

I knew I wanted the design to be slightly unique, with a very hand carved look in the bowl and handle to show the love and labor that goes into each piece. I also knew I wanted the handle to be elongated to mimic some of the designs from our family and add further visual interest and distinctiveness to the design.

Josh brought the rest of the skill and knowledge to this special design to make it what it is today. He thoughtfully sketched out many shapes and nuances for the bowl, handle, neck and end of the spoon with subtle curves and arcs. I loved seeing his sketches and how each tiny change made a dramatic different, both aesthetically and to the balance and usefulness of the design. He also made recommendations on the best types of wood to use and the sizing of the spoon.

The outcome to me is just perfect. I love everything about the spoon and it has been great working with Josh on this beautiful piece. I can see my Nana in her kitchen stirring up a big pot of spaghetti sauce with this spoon, cooking it all day long and adding a dash of this and a sprinkle of that as she perfected the simmering sauce for dinner. 

I’d love to know more about your own wooden spoons, what you love, what you lack and what you remember about the ones your family used when you were young.

To purchase our Nana’s Wooden Sauce Spoon, click here.

Images 1-3 : via Josh Nava / Suburban Pallet

Images 4-5: via heirloomed

I’m an old soul based in Atlanta, GA and mom of 3 with a deep love of all things from the past with a story to tell, on a mission to keep heirlooms around for another generation - whether it be a tradition, splattered family recipe, or historic home.

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