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Sunday, April 10, 2011

What is this?

What is this wooden thing that is about 13 inches long? It is handcrafted, acquired at a craft show. A forest ranger makes these.  He gave it to me because of the large quantities of his products that I bought for others who did not want to travel to his venue, but who wanted to give his products as gifts at Christmas.

This was acquired at the Christmas Village Craft Show in Birmingham, Alabama. The crafter, Doug, lives in Mississippi. He made all my wooden spoons. They were not cheap! And, I bought these years ago when I could afford them.

No guesses? Another hint--it is an item used for safety. It is maple.  It is a "cooking" item.

Today, because I could not reach up far because  of my injured shoulder, this was used to poke, prod, and finally drag a bag from a shelf over head. The bag held three, empty egg cartons. This is not the original purpose. However, an assistive device is how I used it last. It is really helpful for dragging quart fruit jars full of beans or other stored food from equally high shelves. It adds excitement to my day when I try to catch the glass jars as they come hurtling off the shelf and tumbling into my hands.

Okay, this item was made to pull the oven rack out, so you don't burn your hand. The puller part is the notch in the side. You hold onto the other end. The end with the notch is for pushing the oven rack into the over. Yes, I use it all the time. The curve is natural to the wood.

If you get burned using this, heavens help you. There is no hope for you. I wonder if this is something new he thought up.

Handmade wooden items from craft shows or individuals in my community delight me. The wood was gotten when the tree was cut, not cut from bought boards. He has access to all varieties of wood since he is a forester. He even traveled to New Zealand to buy rare wood. He makes bowls, spreaders, spoons, ladles, gumbo stirrers the size of oars!

There is something supremely satisfying in using a handcrafted article, one that is crafted from forest refuse, but from still usable natural material. This tree might have lain and rotted in the forest while we pay to ship items from overseas, items made on machinery. There is nothing wrong with a tree rotting on the forest floor, going back into the earth to nourish the earth. However, there is something really wrong with using fossil fuel in the production of something easily crafted from a fallen tree.

Your turn
Have you even seen one of these? Is it a wooden version of a commercially made item in metal? 


  1. I thought it was a pot lid lifter! LOL!
    It looks strangely familiar to me but I can't place it. Its really very ingenius and lovely in its simplicity. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Linda M, Hmmmm....I suppose it could lift certain pot lids as long as the lid was not heavy.

  3. My mother gave me one of these, though it is no where near as striking to look at as yours. I think mine has a 12 inch ruler marked on it. I don't use it much, but just the other day it came in handy for reasons I can't quite put together now. Matt didn't even know we had it. Maybe it will see more use now.

  4. BLD, A ruler, too! How interesting. I wonder if he even knew what it was for. Thanks for the information and comment.

  5. I have never heard of such a thing.
    I don't have an oven now but when we did I just used a cloth.

    Is this thing easier to use than a cloth?


  6. Barb, In many ways, it is easier. When you don't want to get in the steam/heat of the oven, or, like I am now, not capable of bending or using my arm much, it is better for dragging the oven shelf out. i have had this for 15 years. Mostly, I use it for reaching and pulling things off high shelves. It stays in a little crock beside the stove with other utensils.


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