In this installment of 'Meet the Maker,' we're excited to share the fascinating story behind our latest offering, the Wooden Magnetic Notions Dishes. Individually handmade in Tennessee, these gift-worthy dishes are a beautiful blend of natural materials and clever construction. And we're pleased to introduce you to Megan and Ben, of MB Custom Wood Art, the makers behind these one-of-a-kind pieces.
Scroll down to hear their story!
Tell us a little about yourself—what got you into making? What made you decide to start your own business?
MB Custom Wood Art is a husband and wife team based out of Memphis, Tennessee. Megan is a stay-at-home mom, and Ben is a French professor. We both had woodworking classes in Middle School, which introduced us to the basic woodworking techniques. However, it wasn’t until one Christmas in a small apartment during Ben’s Ph.D. program that this creative desire reemerged. Ben decided he wanted to make a dining room table for Megan as a gift. Unfortunately, the only tool we had at the time was a simple drill and a hammer, and naturally, Megan initially doubted Ben’s abilities, and to be honest, so did he. So we borrowed a friend’s saw and sander and went to work on the balcony of our apartment. We stumbled along the way, but we still use the same dining table to this day.
We started with a simple drill and hammer, but over the years have slowly grown into a garage full of woodworking toys, by that, we mean tools. Some of the first tools we collected came from the back corner of our parents’ and grandfather’s garages, where they had collected dust from not being used in years. We are grateful to them for helping us begin this journey of woodworking and creating.
What began as a project here and there has developed into a way to be creative while providing extra support to our little family. We both come from creative and artistic families and desire to instill that in our children. We believe it is important for everyone to be creative, no matter the medium.
Do you feel you have a particular style in your designs? How would you describe them?
We would describe our design style as beautifully simple. Simple designs that highlight the natural beauty of the wood we use.
Tell us a little about your creative process—where do your ideas come from?
Most of our ideas come from Megan asking Ben: “Hey, can you make this for me?” This is how our Wooden Magnetic Notions Dish became one of our most popular items. Ben had a hunk of walnut lying around with no apparent project in mind and a brand new lathe. So he asked Megan what he should make, and she replied, “Can you make me a magnetic pin dish for my sewing pins?” Megan has developed a love of sewing and quilting over the last few years, inspiring our notions collection. Most of the items we create come from our wants and needs and our love of making these items ourselves.
Do you have a favorite kind of material to work with? What do you like most about working with this material?
When we first started woodworking, we enjoyed scavenging for wood. We loved using reclaimed wood to build furniture and wall art rather than seeing it end up in a dump. We also love supporting our local wood shop and purchasing our domestic and exotic hardwoods from them. Some of our favorite hardwoods to work with are Walnut, Ambrosia Maple, Bolivian Rosewood, and Canarywood. We love how each piece of the same type of wood is beautiful in its unique way, and no two pieces will look the same.
Is there a craft that interests you that you haven’t tried yet?
We love watching knife forging, and glass blowing shows when we are not woodworking, teaching French, or caring for our family. Both crafts would be fascinating to try one day.
Is there anything else you would like to say about creating the Wooden Magnetic Notions Dishes?
We feel very grateful and honored that our little shop has had so much support and love from people across the country. It encourages us to continue to create and expand each day.
Thanks for reading! We hope you enjoyed learning more about the hard work and creativity that goes into the making of the Wooden Magnetic Notions Dishes. Find these stunning maker accessories now available at Twig & horn!