Since its inception, Stinson Studios has worked with wood sourced locally from family-run wood lots. The logs are chosen for rare characteristics that bring something special to each piece. Similarly, damaged trees that have developed burls and that would otherwise be considered scrap are selected to create the stunning, one of a kind signature sculptural pieces that have become a staple in our collection, and in many homes and businesses worldwide.
The Ambrosia maple used for most Stinson bowls is particularly rare and sought after for its “finger spaulting” or “starburst” patterns.
While this Ambrosia beetle-infested maple is hard to find elsewhere, it is ubiquitous in our part of the province, and allows us to create truly stunning work. It is the presence of the beetle that creates the spaulting, and so we choose this wood specifically for that purpose. We also work with other woods when they become available. To create and enhance the natural colours and patterns that make our bowls so desirable, we employ a technique of embracing nature by aging logs and burls for up to a year.
Turned on our custom lathe, bowls are nested to eliminate waste, creating unique colouring and variations in size and depth between bowls. Each bowl is refreshingly unique.
Finished with a food-safe combination of vegetable oil and a beeswax-mineral oil finish, all of our products are food-safe. Our burls are treated with a French polish technique, using a food-grade polish, resulting in a piece that is suitable for occasional food use or as a low-maintenance work of art.
Our bowls are ideal for serving and showcasing food, including holding fruit and vegetables, salads, pasta (hot or cold), bread, rice, and more. Many choose to use them as centerpieces, in hallways or on tables, holding items such as decorations, keys, nuts or candy. These are very popular as wedding gifts, or just gifts in general, as they are so unlike anything else available, but remain functional and last for generations.
Both our cutting and pâté boards are an excellent choice for preparing and serving food. Through use, the colours will deepen and the board will gain the coveted look of a much-loved butchers block. We recommend cutting on one side and serving on the other (serving on the side with the pocket in the case of the pâté boards) to maximize the use of your board. The pâté board has diverse uses such as holding chutneys and jams, olives, nuts, or pâté, a spread of cheese and crackers, bread, smoked salmon – you name it! And the cutting board can be used traditionally to prepare food, and as an alternative form of serving platter.
Caring for your Stinson piece is easy. Excluding burls, all pieces can be washed with soapy water – you can even put it right in your sink if it will fit! But please don’t let the items soak, and definitely don’t put them in the dishwasher. Once they have been wiped or rinsed clean, allow them to dry fully.
Depending how often you use them, we suggest you re-oil them with any food-grade oil (we use vegetable oil), using your hands or a clean cloth. A light layer of oil, allowed to penetrate the wood, will bring back the colour and moisten and protect the wood. As you get to know your piece, you will know when it needs oiling by feel and colour – it may appear to fade as it dries out, but the colour will be reinvigorated with the oil application.
If using a particularly acidic or darkly coloured dressing or food on the wood, we recommend first applying a thin layer of oil to help prevent staining, especially if the food will be sitting for a long time. However, if you do find discoloration of the wood, it is completely normal and in fact adds personality to your piece.