• A Visit to The Littledeer Workshop: Part 2

    As humans, the first tools we learn to use is our hands and the best tools to have been developed since are those that act as extensions of the hand and arm.  Functional excellence happens when the tool accomplishes its task in harmony with the body and with nature.

    When you look at Tom Littledeer’s Mapleware® utensils, you are observing a pure study in ergonomic design.  At once beautiful to behold and evocative of their clear purpose, the first impression of the shapes is that they are not so dissimilar from the human hand.  However on closer examination, you realize that like all effective tools, these are designed to do much more.  Informed by fluid dynamic design, each of these implements is made from a single piece of high-quality hard maple and they are shaped, sanded and polished so that every edge, surface and curve serves a purpose.

    To appreciate the craftsmanship applied here is to understand that the process itself is not crude or rudimentary handcraft at all.  Since the first cooking paddles designed in 1984, Littledeer’s atelier has grown in order to accommodate demand: not only that of its clients but to meet the exacting standards of the owners themselves.  Each piece of mapleware™ can undergo upwards of ten separate processes before leaving the workshop including custom routing and cutting, belt sanding, flap-sanding, tumbling and a brief soak in food grade mineral oil.  Most of these processes occur on machines and tools either modified or custom-made by Tom specifically for manufacturing these products.  In every way, the marriage of technology and craft in the workshop extends onward into the final product: elegant design transformed into perfect tools for lovers of food and professional cooks alike.

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