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Wooden Eggs Featuring Hand Drawn Spring Flowers

wooden egg with flower design in black ink

skew & ink – a new creative collaboration

Skew and Ink is the name of the collaboration between Love HeartWood and another West Berkshire female-led, creative business Bloom & Bear. The collaboration’s named after the tools we used to create this new collection of illustrated wooden eggs. Namely, my skew chisel and Tee Stevenson’s ink.

Bloom and Bear is run by surface print designer and maker Tee who I first met this time last year. It was at the Newbury WI’s inaugural spring craft fair. The fair was being held only days before the first lockdown so customers were a bit thin on the ground. However, the silver lining to this was that we had plenty of opportunity to chat and get to know one another. Tee and I admired each other’s work and spent the time discussing our shared love of nature and our creative fields. And from that meeting a wonderful collaboration has developed. As a turner I focus on the creation of 3-dimensional objects whereas Tee, as a print designer works in 2-dimensions. This makes for a great partnership as our strengths complement each other perfectly.

the love heartwood logo
bloom and bear logo

the spring garden collection

The Spring Garden Collection is comprised of handmade wooden eggs featuring six unique spring flowers designs. The Beech used to create the eggs is sustainably sourced from nearby Oxfordshire.

The collection was inspired by Springtime, the season of rebirth and renewed hope. Tee and I share a passion for nature which has been a great comfort to us and so many others during lockdown. So we wanted to celebrate Spring’s arrival even more than usual this year.

wooden egg
The Iris Egg.
Every egg’s unique as it’s handmade by myself and then illustrated by Tee using natural India ink. India ink’s made from natural charcoal which is acid-free, pH neutral, odourless and water resistant. For added protection the eggs are finished with a plant based natural oil.

wooden eggs featuring 6 spring flowers

There are six designs each based on a spring flower. Part of what’s I find so fascinating about nature is the way we connect to it. Over time people have imbused the living things around them with unique associations. Each carefully selected flowers’ specific meaning is listed below. Trees also have siginificance to us and the Beech tree’s is also listed. I feel it’s particularly apt for this collaboration!

flower meanings

daffodil – new beginnings

tulip – love

hyacinth – charm

iris – faith, hope and wisdom

freesia – innocence and thoughtfulness

cherry blossom – rejuvenation, beauty and strength

beech – creativity and female wisdom


wooden egg set in a reusable cardboard postal box
The beautifully designed packaging is not only eco friendly, it’s also perfect for gifting in person or by post.

coming soon

The collection will be available in Love HeartWood and Bloom & Bear’s online shops from Saturday the 27th March 2021. The wooden eggs will be available individually or as sets of 6. There will also be a hanging egg option.

If you’d like to be one of the first to get your hands on some wooden eggs then sign up to my newsletter below to receive the exclusive early bird offer only available to subscribers.


visit bloom & bear

follow @BLOOMANDBEARSTUDIO

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rustic wedding ring box commission

rustic wedding ring box of rowan wood

In Britain, rowan trees have long been seen as protective spirits. Because of that it’s the perfect wood to craft into a rustic wedding ring box. This ring box was a special commission for a lady who’d seen my boxes in yew and silver birch but wanted hers to be made of rowan wood.

the creation process

Boxes are made from a length of branch wood cut into 2 pieces to form the body and the lid. Next the box and lid are hollowed out on the lathe. After that a small hole’s drilled through both and a wooden hinge bar secured in place. The bar allows the lid to swing open and shut. Lastly, a small copper pin is threaded through the bar to hold it safely in place (see detail photo above).

Inside the box are two felt pads, one in the box and one in the lid. One pad has a space for one ring and the other holds two rings. So the box can be used as both a proposal and wedding ring box.

wood selection

I always use branch wood that’s the right size because I can retain the bark on the outside and reveal the growth rings on the top, bottom and inside. The rowan chosen for this box was a piece of ‘crotch’ wood. Crotch wood is found on a tree where two branches meet. It’s harder to cut as the grain swirls around and runs in different directions, but the resulting swirls remind me of the ripples made by dropping little pebbles into a pond.

There’s many different woods that can be used to make ring boxes. I have pieces of many native trees such as yew, silver birch, scot’s pine, box, apple, ash, rowan and oak available. If you’re not sure which wood will suit you best I’m happy to talk you through their different characters to help you make a choice. If you have a favourite tree I’ll do my best to source it sustainably for you.

custom wedding ring box

So if you’d like a rustic wedding ring box made specially for you or you have any kind of commission in mind please get in touch using liz@loveheartwood or fill in the form below.

commission form

Please enter the phone number you'd prefer to be contacted on.

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Custom Wand Commission

chestnut magic wand

I recently completed my second custom wand commission. Despite already writing about making a wand I had such fun designing Mark’s wand with him that I wanted to share the experience with you. I really enjoy it when customers get involved as I love collaborating with them.

the enquiry

Mark, like many people, visited the Pottermore (now Wizarding World) wand quiz, to discover his perfect wand. It turned out to be a 13 inch chestnut wand with a dragon’s heartstring core. However, he was unable to find one to buy anywhere online. So that’s when he got in touch with me.

defining the brief

One of the hardest parts of designing a unique item is understanding exactly what your customer wants. So to get a better understanding of exactly what Mark’s dream wand looked like I asked him a series of preference questions. Mark’s answers (in italics below) helped me understand what kind of wand he would like.

Do you have any design preferences? Obviously it’s to be a 13” slender, wand in Chestnut wood, but in terms of style what would you like?

Light/dark?……. Light

Coloured/natural?…….. Natural but may contain some colour if your creative flare thinks so

Ceremonial/everyday use?……….it will just be on display so probably ceremonial

Dramatic/understated?……………………….Dramatic sounds interesting

Runic inscriptions /initials/ plain?…………….no inscriptions plain will be fine

Wild(some bark left on)/ smooth and polished?……..smooth and polished but i like the idea of a pummel that may have some bark on it but not a deal breaker if it doesn’t

initial design ideas

From these answers I produced initial sketch ideas showing a variety of possible designs. I asked Mark which wand, colours and ideas he preferred and told him he could ‘mix and match’ features from the different wands if he liked.

sketches of wand designs
Design ideas for a 13 inch magic wand made of Chestnut.

finalising the design

In response, as well as telling me what he liked, Mark also helpfully produced this sketch. In it he pulled together all of his favourite design features to make his perfect wand. I thought it was pretty awesome so we had our final design.

The wand would have 3 sets of burn lines along the shaft but otherwise it would be left natural. The handle would retain some of the bark, but where it was to be held would be smooth and curved to fit comfortably in the hand. This area would be scorched with a blow torch to leave a slightly shiny, black surface. The end of the wand would then be cut diagonally, with the dragon’s heartstring core being represented by a circle of red woodstain at the centre of the wood grain.

customer's design
Mark’s final wand design.

the turning process

Watch this video on YouTube.

Once the wand was shaped and coloured, I applied a couple of coats of natural plant based sealant. This protections the wood from dirt and makes wiping it clean much easier.

the completed wand

wooden wand
The completed 13 inch chestnut wand with dragon’s heartstring core.
mark's wand collection
Mark’s new wand at home with the rest of his collection.

further reading …..tree folklore

The idea that different woods exhibit different characters is a very ancient one and my research into the subject of tree lore was fascinating. I will certainly be exploring it more fully as I plan to make more real magic wands in the future. If you’d like to find out more about our native trees and their associated folklore why not visit these wonderful nature websites?


have something special you’d like to commission?

If you’d like your own unique, wizard wand or want to chat about another commission idea please email me at liz@loveheartwood.co.uk or complete the form below.

commission form

Please enter the phone number you'd prefer to be contacted on.
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Circular Economy Conversation

Watch this video on YouTube.

crafting circular futures

I initially started watching Reading’s Circular Economy Club talks to get sustainability tips from other local people. So I was delighted when Erica invited me to take part in the seventh Circular Coffee and Conversation session (recorded 11.12.2020).

topics covered

my background – not just making toys but making relationships with things – my circular making process and each stage of my products’ life cycle – the importance of knowing where materials come from and supplier ethics – my growing wooden toy repair service

more about circular coffee + conversation

Just half an hour long the sessions are a virtual morning coffee (or tea) break. While you have your break listen to Sophie and Erica chatting with a range of local individuals, organisations and businesses on their thoughts and connections on the Circular Economy ( often with links to in and around Reading, Berkshire). Each guest brings a “Circular Conversation Starter” – an object, product, anything really, that connects them to the circular economy at home or in their work. Then they’re asked questions for about 15 mins. After that people on the call are also welcome to join in the chat and ask questions. If you’re interested in joining in , don’t forget to sign-up. See ‘ways to get involved’ below.

the circular economy club

Circular coffee + conversation is a collaboration between: Sophie Segal – Co Create Impact – https://cocreateimpact.com/ and Erica Purvis – TechnicalNature – https://technicalnature.org.uk/

They run the Reading UK branch of the Circular Economy Club global voluntary network.

get involved

Sign-up to the Circular Coffee + Conversation Newsletter
Join the Circular Coffee + Conversation LinkedIn Group
Follow the Circular Coffee + Conversation Eventbrite page for our latest events
Check out th#CEC_RDG hashtag on Twitter and Instagram
Email cec.reading.uk@gmail.com

read more

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Love HeartWood – Rural Business Awards Finalist

rural business awards national finalist

BERKSHIRE BUSINESS SHORTLISTED FOR TOP RURAL AWARD

A local company is in the running to be named one of the best rural businesses in the UK after being shortlisted as a Rural Business Awards finalist.

Love HeartWood from Burghfield Common, just outside Reading, has been shortlisted for the Sustainability and Environmental Impact Award at the 2020/21 Rural Business Awards, held in partnership with Amazon. The local small business will battle it out against fellow rural businesses, entrepreneurs, and enterprises from across the country for the chance to be named a national winner.

Love HeartWood is the name of Liz Pearson’s woodturning business founded in 2017. Based in her garden workshop, former teacher and product design graduate, Liz creates toys, gifts and homeware on her lathe. The common thread through all her work is sustainability and natural materials. The business grew out of her appreciation of wood and desire to share the enjoyment of using handmade objects. Her aim is to celebrate British woodlands and connect us to them in a positive way.”

The Rural Business Awards 2020/21, in partnership with Amazon, will mark the Awards’ sixth year of celebrating the success of businesses across the UK’s rural economy. The Awards are organised by rural business for rural business with the aim of celebrating the achievements of rural businesses and developing a strong network for rural business owners.

Speaking after being shortlisted for an award, Liz Pearson from Love HeartWood said:

“As a relatively young business and a one woman show I entered the competition for the experience so I’m very proud and delighted to have made the national finals.”

Director and Co-Founder of The Rural Business Awards, Jemma Clifford, said: “This year has been an unprecedented challenge for businesses across the country but we have still had a fantastic amount of entries from rural businesses, showing the true determination of people working in the rural economy. Here at the Rural Business Awards we remain committed to our vision of showcasing the fantastic work of rural businesses and believe that it has never been more important than now. On behalf of the RBA team, we want to say well done to Love HeartWood and all the shortlisted businesses, and wish them luck ahead of the national final.”

The Rural Business Awards is the brainchild of Leicestershire businesswomen Anna Price and Jemma Clifford, who wanted to showcase the wealth of entrepreneurial talent in rural areas of Britain.

The Awards are organised by rural business for rural business, with winners in the 13 categories – ranging from Best Rural Start-up and Best Rural Diversification Project; through to Best Rural Professional Services Business and Best Rural Innovation – decided by an independent panel of judges drawn from the rural business sector, rural public sector agencies, and rural charitable organisations.

The Rural Business Awards will be hosting an online National Final on Thursday 25th February 2021.

To find out more about Love HeartWood, go to https://www.loveheartwood.co.uk or to learn about the Rural Business Awards visit www.ruralbusinessawards.co.uk

ENDS

Find out more via social media on:

T: @LizHeartWood

F: @LoveHeartWood

I: Love_HeartWood

T: @RuralRBAs

F: The Rural Business Awards

Keep up with the social media news and use #RBAs.

For more information, interviews or images contact:

Liz Pearson 07897 998586 liz@loveheartwood.co.uk

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Independent Reading’s Small Business Gift Guide 2020

Independent Reading Christmas Gift Guide 2020

Introducing Independent Reading’s small business gift guide. This Christmas season it’s more important than ever to support our local, independent traders in whatever way we can.

This year’s interactive guide is divided into 5 sections with gifts to suit all pockets. Just click on the links in the guide to shop.

  • Food and Drink
  • Things to do
  • Home
  • Something a Little Different
  • Wearables

Download the gift guide here

Independent Reading Gift Guide 2020
Here’s Love HeartWood’s entry in the Guide under Something a LIttle Different