Tom Muir enjoys making organic forms. The interesting shapes and practical nature of kitchen implements provides plenty of scope for this. They also provide a wonderful opportunity to show off the unique beauty of NZ Native timbers, close up and 'hands on'.
"Many of the woods I use have interesting histories. While collecting timber over the years, I have again been discovering volcanic souvenirs.
One extraordinary example, is the Taupo volcanic 'relic logs', salvaged from under river beds in the central North Island. During shingle removal the logs were found lying like 'pick-up sticks' among the river gravels and volcanic silt 10 and 20 feet below the current river bed. 'Carbon 14 dating' places the timbers at 2,000 and 4,000 years old respectively, coinciding with two identified eruptions of the Lake Taupo caldera. Mostly Totara, with occasional Pukatea, Rewarewa, Matai, Tawa and Kaihikatea, they died from the effects of huge quantities of hot ash and pumice, that were ejected by the almost continuous eruptions. Subsequent erosion of these volcanic debris swept the dead trees down steep slopes into river valleys, where they were recovered and milled under license, thousands of years later. These ancient trees have so much natural history in them ... burnt, drowned, and buried treasures.
Now they are finding a new life, being the creative materials for beautiful and useful kitchen implements and sculptural forms. Inspired by a love of wood and the pleasure of preparing delicious food; I craft cook's tools, beautiful servers, bowls, and whatever else the timber suggests. From our hands to yours ... Bon Appetit!"