The first time I met Anders Bollman, it was thorugh a graphic design studio called Bedow, in which he works as a graphic designer, and later, I saw a web page from an artisan called Oddwood , who worked carving greate wood spoons……
Anders, you make a really delicate work in wood, how did you begin on it, working at the same time in graphic design?
Thank you very much. Working as a graphic designer you sit in front of a computer screen all day. I wanted to work with my hands doing something that was more tangible than what I produced as a graphic designer.
How did you create your brand Oddwood?
It was just a way for me to collect my works under a name, trying to figure out what I was doing.
How do you define your image, the name?
I work with wood and the result is never the same, always a bit odd — hence Oddwood?.
Would you like to dedicate totally to wood works? Do you think you have a good hold on the market?
That would be great in some ways, but I’m also happy working as a graphic designer. Having different creative outputs improves my results in both of them, I think.
Do you have a mentor that has supported and guided you?
My dad is a joiner and has taught me the basics in woodworking. He was also the one forcing me to take long walks in the woods as a kid. As an adult, I really appreciate that he managed to get me outdoors.
You work with several types of wood, birch, oak, linden….do you have a favorite one?
All kinds of wood have their own qualities and quirks, but I really like the light and soft feel of linden.
How comes up the idea about making wood spoons? And why spoons?
I found a book about local crafts at my parents house and there was a chapter entirely dedicated to the carving of a spoon. I thought I would try it out and it became like an obsession. A great spoon makes your food tastier somehow.
How does it work? You imagine the spoon shape in your mind, or it depends on the wood plank that you have, and then you decide what to do?
Every piece of wood is unique, and I try to find the shape of the spoon in the wood rather than the opposite. I want to let the wood guide me instead of forcing it into a shape.
You fabricate each spoon by hand, so each piece is a unique piece; do you mark them in some way?
I’ve started to use a woodburning pen to mark each spoon with a version of the Oddwood tree. However, I like to think that you can see if a spoon is from Oddwood — that’s my goal at least.
Do you fabricate by commission?
That would be a really fun thing to do actually. I’ve had some enquires but nothing has come out of them yet.
I see that some of your products are out of stock, is it because you do not want to make them again?
It’s more about the fact that I can’t make an item that looks exactly like it than it is about me not wanting to make it again. I keep them on the website as inspiration and as a way to keep track of my progression.
Are you thinking about improving your designs in wood?
I try to do the wood justice and I hope that I improve my skill. The design is more a result of spontaneous carving than an actual design.
Do you try to express something through the spoon’s different shapes and type of wood?
My goal is to find the individuality of every piece of wood, to amplify rather than quiet the voice of the wood.
How your ideas come up? Which ones are your sources of inspiration? Are you influence by anyone?
I think I get inspired more by how people think rather than how the things they do look like.
You work by your own on wood works, do you feel good working alone on this?
Absolutely, sometimes it’s great to work just by yourself. When you have the world by your fingertips in a smart phone, it’s nice to let a task consume you completely and let it clear your mind.
Do you spend time in your work to publications or other media to make yourself know and increase sales, or you have someone to help you?
I do my own publications, with some help from others. My colleague Bedow helped me develop the graphic identity of Oddwood. I’m currently working on a new publication with photos by the British photographer Sam Harris, which I think is going to be great.
Which ones have been the best and the worst moments of your professional life?
My best moments is probably when I’ve made something that I’m proud of, something that has made the piece of wood justice. My worst moments is when I get frustrated with the time it takes to learn something properly.
Which would be your ideal project?
My ideal project would be to collaborate with a restaurant — maybe on a dessert served with an Oddwood spoon.
What is beauty for you?
Nature — pure and simple.
What is the most difficult and the one you like more in your work?
The most difficult is to start over when something goes wrong. What I like most is when you have worked for several hours on something and it turns out like I imagined it.
Which one has been your biggest success?
What is your biggest dream for the future?
It would be nice to build my own house, slowly making everything myself — an odd house.
It takes time and devotion to learn things, but you have to begin somewhere.