I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to get Ade for his Birthday this year. He's been after a comb for his beard, to replace his flimsy plastic one (complete with sad broken teeth) and he was keen on getting a wooden comb.
I thought it would be great to find something a bit special for him... something hand-crafted... ideally made in the UK by someone with an environmentally friendly way of working.
It was a tall order but then I remembered reading about Geoff King of Woodland Treasures in a couple of the magazines I subscribe to. I first read about Geoff in issue 38 of Reforesting Scotland and then again in issue 60 of Permaculture Magazine (both fantastic publications that I've learnt a lot from, check them out!).
I hunted out the magazines and re-read the articles, which were all about Geoff's stunning hand carved wooden jewellery and combs, plus lots of detail about the way Geoff works (using salvaged, recycled, storm-felled and local British hardwoods), his love of nature and the beautiful part of the world he lives in on a smallholding in northern Scotland. He sounded like the perfect man to make a special beard comb!
I checked out Geoff's website and got in touch to ask if he'd fancy working on a comb commission. He wrote back to say that he did and we went from there, discussing comb sizes and designs, types of beard and suitable woods for the comb. It was great fun!
Here's the finished article, a walnut wood Birthday beard comb...
It really is a work of art and feels so smooth to touch. It even smells amazing because Geoff treats his finished pieces with a mixture of plant oils. When it arrived in the post I couldn't stop sniffing it! Its beautifully made and finished and Ade says it's good to use too. Hurrah!
The comb arrived in a lovely presentation box but I thought it would be good to make some kind of pouch to keep it in and for travelling purposes so it didn't get damaged.
I thought about pouch designs and possible materials but then decided it'd be easiest to let Ade decide what he wanted, so I made him a gift voucher and gave it to him with the comb...
He fancies something made from felt so I'm looking forward to coming up with a design and doing a bit of feltmaking!
The whole process of having something specially made was really enjoyable and I'd definitely do it again. I'm hoping for an excuse to get something from Geoff for myself in the future too... I've never seen anything quite like his work. There's a raven brooch design he's done that I particularly like... maybe I'll drop some hints at Christmas! :)