An Honest Insight Into ‘The Big Move’ and a Beautiful Butcher’s Block

After relocating to Cardigan at the beginning of the year – workshop and all – I was pretty nervous about how it would affect my business. To date, the majority of my commissions have come via word of mouth and returning customers.

  • Would my clients remain loyal if I moved 70 miles away?

  • Would I push myself to network and find new clients? I reflect on my business regularly and recognise this as an area to improve.

  • Would the new workshop still feel like a safe space to allow me to push my creativity?

So, when I was approach in early January weeks after moving, by a potential new client I was over the moon. And what a project it turned out to be. I absolutely loved making this butchers block. The size of the ash top is massive. Keeping wood as close to its original form really does it for me, I love seeing the grain and the depth on this top is nothing short of chunky! There is no denying the solid durability of this slab of wood.

As with any commission, I start by creating digital designs and sharing these with the client for feedback. The commission process is a conversation throughout – the beauty of a bespoke item is that the client can have as much input as they wish to get the exact product they imagined.

I then created the base of the block using mortise and tenon joinery for strength and did a dry fit before gluing. The raw wood was then sealed and primed ready for painting to match the client’s current kitchen cabinets. We used Wimborne White by Farrow and Ball.

It was then time to finesse the main feature of the piece, the massive ask block to sit on top. It involved a lot of hand planing to get the perfect glue join which is difficult enough with thin pieces of wood, with a 3 inch block it proved challenging. It was glued up, chamfered and finished with a food safe oil.

We added a draw for extra storage and pretty sky blue knobs to match the rest of the kitchen.

Price Material cost: £100 Design and install: £720 (time charged at £20 an hour) Total: £820