Southern Artisan Collection : Polder's Old World Market

Every time I look to add a new craftsman to our Southern Artisan Collection it makes my heart happy. So after I became fast friends with Loran over at Polder's Old World Market over on Instagram I knew there were good things to come.

There are few things I connect with more than the hand carved spoons I grew up having in our kitchen, that still are used today. The pieces they craft are a collective effort by their entire family, made on their farm in the hills of Tennessee, and they truly couldn't be more beautiful or thoughtfully crafted.

We're introducing two special pieces as part of our collaboration ...

The Mother + Daughter Wooden Spoon Set, which was truly inspired by the notion of handing down made-from-scratch cooking skills to the next generation side-by-side in the kitchen. This is such a special set to me.

hand carved wooden spoons
small wooden coffee spoon

The Wooden Coffee Spoon was more inspired by a hole I found in my kitchen. Having a cup of coffee to me is a part of my daily routine, a comforting thing I look forward to. This beautiful piece has become a staple in my own kitchen, from measuring my grounds to stirring a splash of almond milk into my coffee. A simple piece that is suddenly elevated by the beautiful hand carved details and unique marks that let you know each piece is one of a kind.

So you can get to know a little bit more about this talented family, where their inspiration comes from and how their pieces are crafted, here's a little Q&A with Loran Polder.

Handmade Wooden Spoons

Q. The name of your business is Polder's Old World Market, previously Old World Kitchen. What does “Old World” mean to you? 

A. Old World brings many different things to mind for us. It means quality, first of all, but it also has a sense of rustic elegance combined with practicality. It brings to mind visions of culture and meaningfulness and beauty in the ordinary. 

Q. What made you think of making spoons initially? 

A. We were seeking a simpler lifestyle and dreaming of farming. We had been bringing baked goods, seedlings and honey from our beehives to local farmer's markets. Our first wooden spoons were made by my father, as his contribution to the wares we brought to market. This idea, and our lifestyle dreams, ended up birthing a whole brand concept. 

Q. How do you select the wood for your spoons? 

A. We salvage fallen hardwoods from the forest floor around our farm. It is exciting and incredible to see the gorgeous wood inside a fallen log that would otherwise rot and go to waste. We get a lot of satisfaction out of turning that wood into beautiful, useful items. 

Q. What inspires the designs of your “Dreamware” line? 

Bread Board

A. I would say it is a combination of things. We're very inspired by the rustic, gourmet culture of rural Europe, by the way the people of Europe celebrate everyday moments so well. But I also feel that all of the personalities in our family team greatly influences the variety of style we incorporate into our designs. 

Q. What family heirlooms inspire your designs?

A. My mom inherited a beautiful handcrafted bread board from her great grandmother years ago. That board inspired us to create our line of cutting boards and bread boards. Beyond that, I would say our Old World heritage on my dad's side, more than any physical item, inspires us in our crafting.

Q. What is your favorite thing about working on this business as a family? 

A. Definitely just being able to work together right on our farm. We value that opportunity and we don't take it for granted.

 

I'm so thrilled to have these gorgeous, hand carved pieces as part of our Southern Artisan Collection.  I'd love to know what you think

 

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.

joshnava
SPworkshop

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.

spoon product sketches

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. 

hand carved wooden spoon
wooden spoon hand carved bowl

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