The Autumn Issue of the UK Handmade Magazine is out now.
It features my interview with EJ the creative mind behind Hatchet + Bear.
Hatchet + Bear create a beautiful selection of handcrafted wooden utensils and objects for the home. Run by EJ, a woodworker with a background in arboriculture, she is perfectly placed to understand the visceral pleasure of crafting with wood. EJ’s work blends traditional methods, simple hand tools and locally foraged timbers to create pieces that have a timeless quality. Alongside her range of products, EJ runs regular spoon making workshops, many of which combine camping, cooking and carving. We caught up with EJ to find out more about her influences and what the future holds for her business.
I found EJ to be an incredibly interesting interviewee. I particularly like the way she felt compelled to follow her creativity which she had neglected for many years. She explains how unfulfilling her work was and the decision she made to turn her life around:
“I was not listening to or taking my creativity very seriously at all. Eventually, I came to my senses - I felt unsatisfied. Actually, I felt ill. Over time, I had amassed a jumble of design ideas and design opinions in my head, that I thought were amazing and yet I wasn't doing anything about them. I have always loved trees and being in the woods, so I went on to study Arboriculture with the Royal Forestry Society. I then went on to do an Art and Design Foundation at Trowbridge College - which was brilliant. I was on a roll so I studied further, in Product and Furniture Design at Kingston University, which taught me alot - including what kind of designer I did not want to be. I left university and tried my hand at a few traditional and heritage crafts. Green Woodworking was the one that really got me. I merged everything together, and here I am”.
Alongside Hatchet + Bear, the magazine also features Amanda J Simmons, Serena Smith, Dazzle @ Dovecot, Handmade at Kew and much, much more...