Creative escape – A city gal carves a country life

Meet the maker creating a country idyll in her own backyard, working with wood to feed her creative soul
Ainslee Costa

We catch up with Ainslee Costa of My Suburban Farm whom we first met in 2016 for our Month of Makers  @hbcreativecollection  when she’d just begun to calmly carve her distinctive crochet hooks amid a bustling city existence.

No two crochet hooks carved by Ainslee are ever the same (Credit: Ainslee Costa)

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. 

Ainslee mostly uses olive branches as she’s drawn to their colour and texture (Credit: Ainslee Costa)

“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!

Creative inspiration | Home Beautiful magazine Australia
Each tool is tested for comfort (Credit: Ainslee Costa)

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.”

“As far back as I can remember I’ve always enjoyed making things with my hands,” says Ainslee (Credit: Ainslee Costa)

Follow @hbcreativecollection to walk in the shoes of makers and share an insight into the creative process behind the objects we own and love.

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