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Woodwork: Functional Kitchenware
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Aaron Dickinson

“I love the colors and textures of our native woods and love to see what can be done by combining them. The shaping of attractive yet functional items that people will use in their daily lives gives me a sense of fulfillment.”

Aaron Dickinson so appreciates wood that it’s difficult for him to toss leftover pieces when he finishes a custom furniture order. So he found a use for them, and a second job.

“I started making wooden kitchenware as something to do with the piles of wood scrap I was accumulating,” said the Hancock County woodworker, “and this grew into a second full-time occupation.”

Aaron began woodworking as a high school student, making furniture with his father. Now in his late 20s, he is a full-time furniture maker, using only native Indiana hardwoods that are locally and sustainably harvested.

“Several of our items are made from the wood of wind-damaged trees or trees others have taken down and we have milled and dried ourselves,” Aaron said of the family business. “I do my best to use as much of a given tree as I can and try to minimize any waste. Wood wastes are composted.”

He combines at least five species in his cutting boards, which are designed to be an accent to a kitchen and the food preparation experience. Maple, ash, walnut, cherry, tulip poplar, and hickory are the most common.

His boards and utensils are designed to be effective and long lasting, as well as ergonomic and visually appealing. He tests his designs in his own kitchen before creating a new line of kitchenware, and he specializes in what he calls “extremely functional, yet decorative, pieces.”
Some cutting boards include deep juice grooves, others have handles to allow the board to be picked up one handed or hung on the wall for storage and decoration. His utensils have deep bowls for better scooping, angled spoons that reach into corners, and spatulas with microbeveled edges for easy use and durability while still utilizing a sharper edge.

“My work exhibits the heritage of the settling of Indiana by being made out of local materials and by hand to be sturdy and useful,” he explained.