Alabama Treenware

Featured in the All Fired Up Box

Hi, I'm Lindsey!

How did you get started making?

I was running a small business building outdoor mud kitchens, Mud Mama, and I got a serious hand injury. While I was recovering, I was able to use small pieces of wood and was just tinkering around waiting to get back to work. Someone asked me if I knew how to make spoons and oddly enough I had learned the traditional method of spoon carving from who is now my mentor, Stan Jennings, of Allegheny Treenware a few years ago. So I made the utensils she requested and the orders started pouring in.

With the lumber prices due to COVID (I used a lot of lumber for a mud kitchen), my injury, and the popularity of the utensils, I had to decide what to do with my other business. I made the call to Stan to formally ask him if he would mentor me if I set down that road and he was delighted. Actually, the phrase he used was "I'd be tickled to death." I named the utensil business "Alabama Treenware" in honor of him and the amazing legacy he has created at Allegheny Treenware. Stan is a legend - a true mountain man in the hills of our home of West Virginia. A renowned artist, he has personally made over a million spoons in his lifetime (that are now all over the world) and I am so blessed to have him in my corner. My first tool, an old no. 10 spoon gouge, was what he used to make his first thousands of spoons and it's what I learned on and still use in all of my spoons.

What kind of wood do you use?

When I say Alabama Treenware is "Organic by nature. Heirloom by choice.", it holds true throughout all aspects of the process. My wares are made from local, untreated woods that are sustainably harvested. Pieces of wood that other people can't use are perfect for me because I use so little for the utensils, so it really cuts down on a sawmill's waste. My tools are heirloom and, in turn, I believe I use them to make heirloom tools. This is a choice I will always make.

What's your process for making your products? 

A lot of my offerings actually start as custom orders/things people request. We talk a little bit about their desired produce - size, etc. I take their specifications and start by drawing a pattern on paper using a compass, divider, and straightedge. Once I get it how I like, I cut it out and trace it onto a piece of thin wood and label it. I then cut that out using a bandsaw to create a stencil. Then I trace my stencil on a larger piece of hardwood and make the first rendition with some rough carving. Sometimes it needs design changes and others it is good to go.

Once the design is finalized, that becomes the official pattern for that utensil. I then go to my curated stock of local hardwoods and thoughtfully choose a piece that I think the customer will like. From there, I trace the pattern and cut it out like before, but then I do the detailed carving. I use a woodworker's vice and a hook knife, carving knife, spoon gouge, draw knife, and spokeshave - most of which are about 150 years old. I have modernized some things by using some power carving and sanding tools for larger orders, but the process remains the same. I do some final shaping and refining on a belt sander and the final step is to polish with kraft paper and my spoon salve that I render myself.

What's your favorite part about being a maker in the Huntsville area?

We are new here, so it has been awesome to see how welcoming everyone is. I have been blessed with a very local following and I genuinely appreciate each one of them. I think people around here value handmade goods, so that is the best possible situation for me as a maker.

Alabama Treenware is a purveyor of sustainable, heirloom-quality treenware. Handmade in Madison, Alabama, by Lindsey Boothe using ethically-sourced, local hardwoods. Organic by nature. Heirloom by choice.

Thanks for supporting makers like Lindsey!