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 wood bowls have become a specialty item. The result is 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 feature. They are American made in today’s climate of imported products. The process used to create our hand fashioned bowls is the same method used for over one hundred years and takes nearly a month to complete. The Holland Bowl Mill crafts their 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 and is considered in all decisions in the production of wood bowls and products. Only the larger diameter trees are harvested, leaving the smaller less mature trees to grow in their place. By removing the huge 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’ lengths and no logs under 16” in diameter are accepted. This is where the bowl making process begins.
Each log is cut into large blocks than again into bowl blanks. The larger blanks produce 17”, 15”, 12” and 9” bowls all from the same blank. Cut from the smaller bowl blanks are 10”, 8”, 7” and 6” bowls. This process is called nesting because each of the bowls nest inside each other. Any of the wood that cannot be used to produce bowls is completely utilized so nothing goes to waste or is put into a landfill. The remaining wood is recycled as firewood for heating homes, fireplaces or camp fires and the shavings and fine turnings are used for animal bedding. We pride ourselves in being environmentally sound.
After this process is complete, the bowls are fine sanded to a smooth finish. They are then dipped in food grade mineral oil or rubbed with our own Bee’s Oil Wood Preserver. Our bowls are both functional and decorative. The natural properties in wood, as a natural, sustainable, renewable and recyclable resource, make it 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 in 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.