You know something is beautifully artisan when it’s that way on its own and apart from its function. Olive and acacia woods are timeless examples of things that can be crafted into functional items but are beautiful just being.
Long an admirer of acacia and olive woods, I’ve gathered a small collection over the years, and recently when the time came for the periodic oil treatment, I was struck by how stunning the pieces are even empty and standing alone.
I’ve never photographed these wood items, but I wanted to capture their unique grains and colors.
Olive wood and acacia wood objects always are beautiful in my book, but there was something special about how the sunlight was hitting them through the windows when I’d removed the spice bottles, salt, utensils, and other things that normally reside in them.
Grabbing my camera, I began photographing them simply on their own with no styling props or accessories. (The only exception is the acacia knife block; somehow in my photographs the knives remained, and by the time I noticed, my natural light was gone.)
There are a number of companies that manufacture olive and acacia wood items for the home. As for olive wood, while not all of mine are from here, my favorite is the Berard France company. To me, their pieces stand apart from others, and I love the story about this artisan line that started in 1892.
Berard is located in the mountains of Royans, France, and the company was founded in 1892 by Marius Berard. For generations, the Berard family has carried on this legacy with stunningly skilled craftsmanship. I’ve read that only the branches of olive trees are used by Berard France in order to let the trees continue to thrive for the centuries ahead.
Treating your olive and acacia items is a luxury in itself as you rub in oils that slowly penetrate the wood; leave them be for a while, and then remove any excess oil and buff them with a soft cloth. They’re so beautiful, and while I’m doing this, I like to imagine working at Berard France and being given an olive tree branch from which to handcraft an object.
Both olive and acacia woods are very durable and have high density fibers, which makes them especially good for kitchen objects. My collection includes everything from large and small bowls to cake stands, double salt keeper, scoops, ladle, mortar and pestle, spatula, spoons, and even corncob holders.
Letting the natural beauty of these woods speak for themselves is what sets them apart. Beautiful. Artisan. Timeless.
Do you like olive and acacia woods? Do you have a different favorite? Please comment below!