Entries in wood (13)
Handmade by a skilled carpenter from
local acacia wood, the construction of each wrap bench includes traditional mortise and tenon joinery—note the round section of wood towards the top of each leg. Criss-crossing metal rods reinforce leg strength—along with the woven jute seat—but the bench is entirely without nails or screws.
Jute, a fast growing plant requiring minimal processing, is one of the most sustainable fibers available—especially in the Bengal state of India where it’s grown extensively.
The loosely twisted ropes are purchased in hanks with big loops—each weighing about
8 kilograms, or 19 lbs.
The hanks are then opened up, dried in the sun—in case moisture is trapped inside—then rolled into smaller, more manageable balls for weaving.
The fiber is first woven width wise—in a loop over loop fashion—covering the side rails almost completely. It’s then passed through the cavities formed by the width-wise looping and looped over the short ends—creating a strong seat and strengthening the frame in the process.
Designed by a vegetarian who loves to cook—and who possesses a wooden spoon collection spanning decades—these handmade, sustainable shesham tools have subtle details that both casual and advanced cooks can appreciate.
First, the shesham spoon was originally referred to as the marinara spoon since other family members aren’t vegetarian and frequent dinner invitees love all kinds of chilies, stews and marinara sauces. These types of dishes are usually prepared in deeper pots, so the spoon features a longer handle and a wider bowl to stir more with less work—or attention while the cook visits with guests.
The shesham server and spatula—while great for serving up grilled homemade pizza with their precisely angled surfaces—can also be used for scrambling eggs, flipping chorizo or sauteing onions. Bonus: wooden tools are more gentle on pots and pans than metal utensils and sculptural side curves provide maximum mixing and reach into the corners of bowls and pots.
The shesham salad servers not only serve leafy greens, but they’re also designed to catch diced vegetables and scoop up salad dressings which otherwise seem to pool on the bottom of the bowl.
Hints: rinsing is better than scrubbing—use mild soap as needed—and never put them in a dish- washer. Normal use should maintain their condition, but a rub of oil can restore their rich appearance.
Much of the wood used to make the dondra bed is reclaimed from old teak doors, painted windows and doors, beams or flooring from inside old houses that are no longer usable or have been replaced.
Purchased as raw materials by weight, it’s often in a wide range of quality—broken/split, with nail holes, including nails, etc.
While the unusable pieces are discarded, the bulk of the lot is sorted, pieces are laminated together, holes filled with a mix of glue and wood, and finished by sanding and lacquer coating.