There was a time when wood bowl making was a cherished trade, passed down through generations of families. Today, with the abundance of inexpensive materials available to mass produce tableware, our handcrafted bowls have become a specialty item. This centuries-old traditional craft, passed down and perfected through generations, is almost a lost art.
The Holland Bowl Mill prides itself not only on the quality of its wood bowls but the great additional features, such as being completely American made in today’s import climate. At nearly a month to complete, our process of creating handcrafted bowls derives from the same method used for over one hundred years ago. Holland Bowl Mill crafts its bowls from American hardwoods including Cherry, Walnut, Beech, Hard Maple and Red Oak, using timber harvested from forests throughout Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. In global forestry markets, much wood is harvested in unsustainable ways and is not subject to the standards in the U.S.
Being environmentally friendly is an ongoing component of our business. We consider our environmental activities in all decisions in the production of wood bowls and products. Only the larger diameter trees are harvested, leaving smaller, less mature trees to grow in their place. By removing the vast canopies of leaves, it allows sunlight to penetrate the forest floor where young foliage and wildlife can prosper. This process is called select cutting. The logs are delivered to our mill in 8-, 10- and 12-foot lengths and no registrations under 16” in diameter are accepted. This is where the bowl making process begins.
Holland Bowl Mill cuts each log into large blocks and then into bowl blanks. The more significant blanks produce 17-, 15-, 12- and 9-inch bowls all from the same blank. Smaller bowl blanks measure 10, 8, 7 and 6 inches. Each of the bowls nets into each other nests inside each other, or nesting, as it’s commonly referred to. Any of the wood that cannot be used to produce bowls is wholly utilized, so nothing goes to waste or is put into a landfill. The remaining wood is recycled as firewood for heating homes, fireplaces or campfires and the shavings and fine tunings are used for animal bedding.
After this process is complete, the bowls are finely sanded to a smooth finish before dipping them into a food-grade mineral oil or rubbed with our own Bee’s Oil Wood Preserver. Our bowls are both functional and decorative. The natural properties of wood, as a natural, sustainable, renewable and recyclable resource, make our handcrafted bowls a logical environmental choice. Another advantage is woods desirable visual characteristics which provide warmth and character. We offer a lifetime guarantee for all of our bowls and pride ourselves on the fact that at the Holland Bowl Mill we are manufacturing tomorrow’s antiques that will last for generations.
WATCH HOW OUR BOWLS ARE MADE
In 2007 we were featured on the Discovery and Science channels “How It’s Made” program. Please visit our homepage to view the video of our bowl making process.