"Functional Wooden Artwork Through Inspirational Design"
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ABOUT F.BECK WOODWORKING PRODUCTS
Welcome and thank you for visiting my web site. I attribute my interest in woodworking to my father, a building contractor, with “old school” German skills and work ethics. At a very early age I learned wood working skills that I use today. Getting to use Dad’s home made wood lathe was always a special treat. Additionally, I believe that my love of art has had a lot to do with my Mother who was an avid painter, primarily with water-colors and never saw a craft she couldn’t master. In fact, up until her passing at age 94, she was still hand weaving Pine Needle Baskets and painting water color greeting cards.
After retiring from 30 years in the retail business, I moved to Pine Valley, AZ., a small valley about 10 miles East of Sedona, and built my own home. With prodding from family and friends, I began working with wood again, as a “hobby”, primarily as an appeasement to my 4 daughters, to discourage them from shipping me off to a “senior center”, because I was too “inactive”. Working with mostly local wood types, Mesquite & Manzanita, I have evolved my hobby into a full time business. After developing techniques for inlaying, I began using Turquoise in all of my work and now produce an array of kitchen cutting boards, kitchen utensils, wooden bowls and small tables, all hand crafted out of hardwoods and all enhanced with Turquoise Inlay work.
My primary choice of wood is Mesquite. The Mesquite Tree is native to many southwestern states and is found as far south as Argentina. Native Americans relied on the mesquite pod as a dietary staple from which they made tea, syrup and a ground meal called “Pinole.” They also used the bark for basketry, fabrics and medicine. The wood is very dense, almost twice as hard as oak and more than twice as hard as walnut, and is one of the most stable woods in the world. This quality gives it a superior ability to withstand denting, scratching, and normal wear. Because Mesquite is much more dense than other hardwoods, it also has a much higher resistance to shrinking and swelling. Due to these traits, Mesquite cutting boards used in commercial kitchen and washed repeatedly in dishwashers retain their integrity for a lifetime with no checking, splitting, or warping. The Mesquite I use comes from AZ., Texas, Argentina & Sonora, Mexico. I also do some work with American hardwoods such as; Maple, Cherry & Black Walnut. All very poplar woods for cutting boards and ones that show off the turquoise inlay very nicely.
The turquoise I use comes from the famous “Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Mine,” near Globe, AZ. Known for it’s even “turquoise blue" color, it is highly prized by silversmiths and artisans and is a favorite of the Zuni Pueblo silversmiths for use in making their fabulous “petite point” jewelry.
To inlay the turquoise, I hand carve out “spalted” areas of the wood, or create and carve my own designs, based on grain patterns. The turquoise used is totally “natural,” which means that it has not been “stabilized,” or treated in any way to artificially enhance the color. I buy it crushed, but crush it down more to obtain the proper size. The stone is then mixed with an epoxy and filled into the carved out areas. After several hours of set time, the next step it to sand down the epoxy/turquoise inlay.
The epoxy used was originally developed by the U.S. government, in the 1960’s and is totally food-safe. Besides setting in the turquoise, the epoxy also aids in protecting the turquoise so that it will stand up to the rigors of daily use. Once the board, or kitchen utensil, is finish sanded the final step is to “season,” or “seal” the wood. For this I use a product which is bees wax based and contains several other natural, organic, ingredients, all non-toxic and food-safe. A couple of hand rubbed coats of this product brings out the natural grain, color and beauty of the wood, enhances the color of the turquoise and aids in protecting & preserving the wood, giving you a wonderful piece of beautiful & functional art work, which will last a life time. PLEASE NOTE: Cutting on the inlay will neither damage the inlay nor your cutting blade.
A word about the pricing of my items. I DO NOT sell wholesale, nor do consigments with the retail market. Been there, done that. I have found that, inorder for a gallery to want my product, I have to either sell to them at a 30-40% (minimum) discount off of what I sell for, (which pretty much means I'm "giving" them "free" merchandise) or mark up my retails, so that the gallery can get their discount & I can still make a profit. I pay shipping to the gallery and then they still mark the items up another 10%. So, I have elected to only sell through this web site. By doing so, I feel that the consumer is getting a quality product for a fair price. No "middleman" mark-ups, no glitzy "Art Gallery" premiums, just an honest price based on my costs. With my inclusion of FREE SHIPPING on all selected items, within the Continental USA, combined with my use of highest quality materials & expert craftsmanship, I am comfortable in the belief that I offer an uncompromised product & service. Please note, that, since I am paying shipping costs to you, I would expect you to pay any return shipping costs, if for any reason that might be wanted. And, with regards to returns, I would also ask that you contact me first with your reason for return.......
I stand behind every product I make, 100%.