Meet Ainslee. A city girl who, driven by an overwhelming urge to make things, has created a country world in an urban landscape where she whittles, carves and shapes handsome tools and covetable objects by hand, inspiring others to live a more simple, creative life.
Walk through Ainslee’s Melbourne home, past the office where she runs a busy asphalting business with her husband and outside, into her shed. Life instantly becomes more simple.
From this “playroom”, Ainslee watches her chickens forage in the garden and lovingly fashions wooden crochet hooks from tree branches, documenting her creative escape in a photo diary that is in itself a visual feast.
“The satisfaction I feel from being able to create functional tools is a huge part of my attraction to working with wood.”
Ainslee first trims the leaves from the branches, then hand cuts them to length. The cut lengths are then placed into her wood-fired oven to dry slowly at a low temperature, then each branch is then whittled carefully by hand using a carving knife and the hook cut and shaped.
Once happy with the shape and the thickness is consistent, Ainslee sands to a smooth and functional finish. The final step is to then test each and every hook for its functionality and feel, by crocheting a few rows!
Each hook receives the same attention and care as the next, which sees Ainslee struggle to keep up with demand, now stretching across the globe.
"There's only so much spare time available to me to carve them!" she says, "But the support I've received has been truly mind blowing, encouraging and so appreciated."
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