I have been a fan of Hatchet+Bear, ever since Harrop+Penny mentioned EJ in their interview earlier in the year. Anyone who spends their days in the woods is alright by me! Here's a little more about EJ ...
Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about what you do?
My name is EJ Osborne and I am a product designer, bowl turner and spoon carver, using locally coppiced and felled trees from nearby woodland, to make useful objects. I run an online shop called Hatchet+Bear, where I sell the products that I make.
Apart from your work what else do you like doing?
I really enjoy taking photos. When I'm not taking photos of trees and woodland, I try to capture the beauty lying within the bleak and mundane. I like having conversations with my 2.6 year old daughter and all the comedy it brings.
What is your favourite item in your shop and why?
Probably the Eating Spoons.. Not many people know that when you start eating with a wooden spoon, it is such a peaceful experience that when you try and return to eating with a metal one, the noise seems unbearable.. chinking, scraping and clanging. Another great thing about H+B wooden eating spoons is that they are specifically carved to fit a mouth - I suppose you could say they are orally ergonomic. What they bring is a lovely eating experience.. they are complimentary to delicious food and I think they inspire us to cook well for ourselves.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Everywhere. I'm one of those types who sees faces in things and stares at stuff for so long that tessellating patterns begin to emerge. I'm very interested in and look closely at product design in a historical context - how things were done, how things have evolved and how lots of things have become over processed and ruined. I like to take over-processed products, turn back time and take them on a different route.
Describe your studio/workspace?
It's not as tidy as I'd like it to be right now. I'm out-growing it. I've tried to combat this recently by using the wall space for hanging and shelving. Mainly, there are lots of logs piled up and lots of piles of wood shavings swept to the sides. People double-take when they walk past the window and see a woman in a room, wielding a chainsaw or swinging an axe. I guess most people see these things happening outside. I do love my workshop. I spent a considerable amount of time making it somewhere I really wanted to work in, before I actually moved in. For one, that involved removing all the plaster and exposing the red bricks underneath.
What is a typical work day for you?
It really depends what's happening. There are days spent in the workshop - they are always coffee fuelled, dizzying mixtures of makery, photography and social media. Then there are days spent outside - forging about in the woods or pottering about the wood yard, looking at parts of felled trees. I'm always up late, whichever type of day it is.
Please tell us about your current loves...
* books: current read - The Spirit Level
* eats: I like to make a mess in my kitchen / Gifts from an allotment are always a lovely thing.
* drinks: coffee / mint tea / winter woodland accompaniment - Sailor Jerry rum in a hip flask
* music: current listenings - Bombay Bicycle Club / Gem Club / Lanterns on the Lake / Phillip Glass / Rachel Zeffira / Grizzly Bear / Ludvico Einaudi / Neko Case
What do you love most about what you do?
I pretty much love everything about what I do. A while back I realised that there was no other way to go about life. Although, when I get to sit down and peel long, curling shavings, from freshly felled green wood, with a razor sharp knife.. I go into a very pleasurable trance-like state. In the zone. That's a really nice place to be.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
A stack of constructed paintings. It's this years work so far, by my daughter. The most cherished part is the look on her face while she is waiting for me to comment on the one I'm holding.
If you were stranded in the wilds what item would you want with you to survive?
I would have to say a small axe. There's not much that can't be achieved with an axe.
Where would you like to be in ten years?
I'd like to be rocking in a chair by an open fire, in a log cabin, surrounded by trees, but near to the sea, reading one of the many great books on my long list of 'brilliant books that I haven't made the time to read'.
Where can we buy your work?
You can buy it from my online store www.hatchetandbear.co.uk and a growing number of selected stockists up and down the UK which are listed on my site.
Sigh... EJ has the life eh? All that fresh air, and the smell of the wood, pretty perfect. I think EJ's dream of the log cabin in the woods is mine actually!!
EJ has kindly offered one Littlegreenshed reader a chance to win a Hatchet+Bear shooting star spatula - that will help to make the most magical and delicious of cakes AND a Jar Spoon - a small teaspoon-like head with a long slender handle, for getting jams, olives and all manner of things out from jars. Both locally foraged Somerset walnut wood and make using an axe, a knife and a hot poker.
To win, please fill in the form below! Good luck - giveaway ends SUNDAY 29th SEPTEMBER!
If you would like to be featured on MAKERS PROFILE - please email me on: Loulittlegreenshed@gmail.com and I can send you the details.