I remember as a child admiring people who could craft beautiful items by hand. Over the years, I have worked in a number of media, including glass, fiber and silver.
I started woodworking to spend time with my life partner and best friend, Bob. Bob had a home-based building business and I quickly realized that if I was going to spend any time with him, I needed to learn to work with wood! Blessed with a well-equipped woodshop and a patient teacher, I learned all I needed to know to make fine quality cutting boards, wooden utensils, and serving peices.
I am a chemist by education and worked as a chemist for over 30 years. I love adding some 'science' to the products in our shop. These designs were made easier when I bought a laser engraver--it added so much to our design capability!
I've learned and expanded my skills and our technical capability, but one thing won't change. We will always use only North American hardwoods - such as maple, oak, hickory, cherry and walnut - here at Midland Moose Works.
Want to know why?
Early in our inception as a business, we decided to forgo the use of exotic foreign woods, including bamboo, in favor of wood species that are native to Michigan.
We had many reasons: the toxicity of many exotic woods is unknown. We don't want to be exposed to toxic sawdust as we work with wood, and we don't want to sell items for food prep use if we aren't confident of their safety.
Bamboo is HARD, making it a good choice for flooring, but a poor choice for cutting boards--it can rapidly dull fine cutlery. Buy one of our fine end grain boards and you will feel the difference under your knife as you use it!
We love the beauty of North American hardwoods. Maple is native to Michigan. Uniquely figured maple, such as birdseye maple, ambrosia maple and curly maple, is frequently available locally. Walnut and cherry are also beautiful woods that are native to Michigan. To make our handcrafted items more special, we seach for native hardwoods that have unique figure, color and grain.
As craftsman who are proud of our local connection, the use of native Michigan wood species are a centerpiece of our design!