No two knots are the same. The grain in each cut of wood is unique.
This simple truth of nature is what drives Amber Baker, owner of Knots of Nature, to create what she sees as functional works of art.
"Knots of Nature’s roots lay in a custom cutting board gifted to me by a family friend. Inspired by what I think is a perfect, unique gift for any occasion, I decided to try a make a few of them myself. I knew that I needed my boards to be different in order to stand out in the sea of similarity," she said. "My signature design in each board, is that I incorporate the natural knots into the handle. In doing this, each board has its own custom appearance. Knots of Nature turns mother nature’s natural beauty into function art."
From there, she lets the wood do some of the work.
"I love the idea of it being functional as well as decorative," Baker said of the cutting/serving boards. "I got to thinking about where the boards would be used or displayed. In the kitchen. And I try to incorporate them into the interior design world."
That, she said, led her to select woods that offer three distinct grains.
"I needed a lighter colored wood with character and knots—so I found curly maple. Then I have a medium brown color wood that is pecan. And for those that want the darker, richer color I use black walnut," she said. "Those three colors, those different types of wood, they're all hard enough to serve as a cutting board and have a lot of character to them and, when you find the right piece, have a lot of knots. With those three colors I can touch most color schemes in a kitchen."
The business started in December and already Baker has made between 90 and 100 unique boards.
"Customers love that I made it and that I did it here in Claremore. I source everything in Oklahoma. I source my wood from the sawmills in Catoosa and Spavinaw. And they're surprised it's a woman making them, that I'm the woodworker. It's an industry that is very dominated by men, but it's not anything a woman can't do," she said.
Amber and husband Tony are Texas natives but two years ago they made the move to build their dream home in Claremore.
"I've always had a creative side. I'm an orthopedic nurse by trade and when I moved here I found there's not a lot of positions in the Claremore area.
So, I decided that I would focus on building our home, and creating these works of art," she said.
She's always loved working with her hands, but said her love of woodworking came after her husband showed her some tips and tricks.
"He does custom knives, we built our kids furniture when they were little. He's shown me how to use the tools and all that," she said.
More than anything, Baker said she loves that each one is unique unto itself.
"A customer told me once 'Who doesn't love anything that's one of a kind? Who isn't chasing after that?' Whether it's humanity, being different, or having a product no one else has. And I love that about it," she said. "No two knots are the same in the wood. I love that it's natural, I have a special relationship with trees, they're beautiful and mother nature is beautiful."
Baker said nature is already beautiful, she just enhances it a little.
Knots of Nature can be found in Facebook or Instagram. Boards can be purchased locally at the Farmhause in Claremore.