Martyn from WavyGrain has been crafting his handmade wooden products for five years. What started as a hobby following redundancy has become a successful business. Martyn’s background was in mechanics and later in IT, working for various charities as a technician.
‘I’d been made redundant. One of the charities I had been working for were installing a new kitchen and I agreed to fit it. After the kitchen was fitted and finished I noticed that they were making sandwiches straight on to the brand new worktops. So from the offcuts of the worktops I made their own chunky bespoke wooden chopping board and engraved their logo on to it as a gift.’
Martyn’s passion was ignited and he quickly got to work in his garden shed, crafting local wood that was available to him and honing his skills.
‘When I first started telling people that I was going to be making chopping boards for a living, no one said to me ‘you’re mad’ as I expected they would. Everyone’s been really positive and supportive.’
From the very beginning of his fledgling business Martyn has been dedicated to carefully sourcing and personally selecting all his wood. Keen to spread the idea that provenance and miles travelled apply to more than just food, Martyn uses responsibly sourced single pieces of solid Lake District trees. Once cleared from roads and gardens, Martyn often rescues the trees from otherwise becoming fire wood.
‘Saving the world, tree by tree!’ he jokes.
‘We’re so used to products and materials being shipped half way around the world we don’t even think about it. However, people have become conscious of food miles, why are our attitudes to materials any different? Wood is incredibly heavy too, so the energy involved in transporting wood is huge.’
Martyn has always done everything himself, from the website, to the packaging and keeping the books. ‘Which I hate! Overall it’s the hardest job I’ve ever had but it’s also the most rewarding.’ He adds.
Recently Martyn has been able to leave his garden shed and set up his workshop in the docks area of Barrow, Cumbria, at ‘The Old Woodyard’ which historically was used for wooden boat building.
We’re delighted to be working with Martyn as part of our #FromThePantry range. In our Farmshops now you can find traditionally crafted, practical and beautiful kitchenware including functional dusters and scrubbing brushes, chopping boards made using single pieces of solid wood, classically designed mixing bowls and cleaning products made with entirely natural ingredients. You can find Martyn’s rolling pins, spurtles and trugs withing the range.