Meet our Artisans: Olive Wood Workers
Bethlehem has a rich history of olive wood working, which we proudly bring to you around the work through our olive wood kitchen collection! We visited one studio to meet the workers and learn more about the process. And while we will be uploading a video of how a simple olive wood kitchen utensil is made, for now we want to share with you some photos.
Olive wood is a sustainable material here in Palestine because the farmers have to prune their trees every year. From the pruned branches, wood is cut and aged to ensure it is totally dried out. It's really a stunning wood: it's very hard and has a distinct smell. The coloration can vary from almost completely white to dark brown with gorgeous grain.
Meet Tony who is a wood worker. He and his partner take great pride in their pieces and are the main source of our utensil collection. Their skill is impressive to behold, and they make it look so easy to cut and shape each piece. Using a template, pieces are hand cut and shaped.
They are then sanded and oiled.
The pieces hold up over time and are core utensils in my kitchen! After washing them, I gently apply a bit of olive oil to them so they stay beautiful and strong for longer.
By shopping from this collection, you are sustaining livelihoods of this traditional craft, a dying trade as Bethlehem experiences a crushing blockade that reduces their tourist industry to a trickle. Please see their beautiful crafts here and bless your kitchen with these high quality, fair trade crafts.