This week we are excited to feature one of our artisans, Swan Creek Crafts, as Vendor of the Week. Swan Creek was voted 2016 Artisan of the Year for both our Springfield and Branson markets and will be selling their products at our upcoming Pop-up Holiday market on December 22nd.
Wood carving began as a hobby for artisan and owner Mike Weber that stemmed from a longstanding love and appreciation for trees and wood. In the 1980’s Mike began to play around with wood carving and made his first spoons – he described the spoons as something a “caveman might have turned his nose up at”. Years later after retiring from the Marine Corps, Mike & his wife Susan settled down out in the hills east of Branson. Looking for a creative outlet to enhance their “retirement” experience, they set up a workshop with proper tools and began learning how to make beautiful, functional wooden utensils. Susan augmented their products by sewing chopstick pouches, quilted hot pads and crocheted dish cloths among other textiles.
Their shop is home to over 70 species of wood that are both domestic and exotic. All the domestic woods are sourced locally while the exotics are purchased from professional sources that follow strict guidelines to ensure the protection of endangered species. If you purchase one of their products, look closely and you will notice the wood type burned into each wood piece as a special touch for each customer.
When it comes to the process itself, Mike says that “every spoon is an individual creation that goes through an 18 step process to final completion. My objective is to present beautiful products that showcase amazing woods from around the world and provide useful function for decades. I also believe strongly in continual improvement and strive to evolve my art to a higher level over time.”
This was Swan Creek Craft’s first FMO season and they were able to sell over 1,000 spoons, 270 sets of chopsticks and 600 stirring sticks. Mike’s creations are available at market every Saturday year-round from 8am to 1pm. They also sell via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and showcase weekly production via Swan Creek Crafts on Facebook.