Little Oaken Tree Pendants


The very idea of making trees from wood never fails to make me ridiculously happy. I guess it’s the redundancy of the phrase “wooden tree”  – a certain share of absurdity always gives things a heart-warming tinge for me.

I made the first one of those trees about a year ago, it was a gift for my mother’s birthday. I wanted something warm, wooden and natural, with a clear simple silhouette – something small to be worn with a black dress. I wanted a wood that would show up well against black, so it had to be relatively light in color, and I wanted a very distinct wooden texture, something that would spell “wood”, even when you cast the briefest glance at it, so no wonder, that I chose oak for the project.

A few days ago K. wrote to me asking, if I could make another tree pendant – for her boyfriend. I had almost forgotten about my previous little tree, so when she sent me a picture of it, it was like meeting a good old friend, and I was so excited at the prospect of making another one, that I ended up instantly sketching two. I had some oak my colleague D. had given me after paneling his apartment walls, and it was just what I needed.

I don’t think I’ll be able to resist the temptation of making a few more of these in the near future. Besides oak, I’m thinking of trying some darker and denser woods which will allow me to make the trees a bit smaller and more delicate (though I love the rustic look of the oak ones). I have an excellent bit of african blackwood, and I suspect it might have been waiting just for that.



Purpleheart Flying Seagull Hairfork


Just as the new year was about to roll in, I got a message from G. asking for a custom hair fork for his girlfriend. He wanted one that would be close to my walnut tree silhouette fork in technique, but would have a flying seagull on it – and the wood would be purpleheart.

There was very little time, because the fork was to be a New Year’s present but I couldn’t resist taking on the project: a combination of negative space, silhouettes and the chocolate coated cherry hue of purpleheart is, to say the very least, just way too tempting. When sleep and composing New Year’s resolutions are on one hand on the scale and this excellent creative emergency on the other, guess what wins.

I still had quite a bit of purpleheart left from my flamenco project, so it was right on to the sketching. Together with G. we went through countless flying gull silhouettes, looking for one that was sure to say seagull, and not just any other flying bird, at a glance, till we found one with the wings at a very characteristic angle.

I started out with a very clean and simple rectangular outline, just like with the tree fork, but it soon became clear that the seagull needed more space to spread its wings and fly – and a sky to fly into. To give the fork an overall feel of upward movement, I angled the prongs and topper slightly. The prongs got an inward tint – subtle enough to allow the to still go along the grain all the way so they stayed durable, while the topper continued the line in an outward time, creating space over the seagulls’s head.

I decided to counter the minimalistic symmetrical simplicity of the prongs with  a curvy swoosh of a wave (irregular lines between the prongs seem to be becoming a particular weakness of mine lately) and an asymmetrical closing line at the top, slightly resembling the slopes of a roof and rising at the side the gull is heading. The curve of the wave was inspired by classical greek wave patterns, while with the outlines I wanted a sleek graceful appearance with a slightly japanese feel to it.

Needless to say, when the fork was ready, I treated myself to catching the setting sun in the seagull’s wing, making it look as if it were flying in the evening sun. I’m really happy with the way this fork turned out, and I can’t wait to see how it will look against the dark hair of the girl who’ll get it.

Flamenco Inspired Purpleheart Hairfork


When a few weeks ago K. approached me with a request for a custom hair fork to give as a birthday present to her flamenco teacher, I was incredibly excited. I love custom orders that are a combination of very specific and total freedom, and K.’s was just that. She wanted the fork to somehow capture the spirit of flamenco and to have a swirl or swoosh element in it – a set of guidelines I was free to interpret.

Needless to say, I agreed to take on the project at once. First things first, I had to get to know the lady who’d be wearing the fork, so K. sent me some pictures and videos of her dancing. Then I set to work watching countless flamenco videos and listening to hours of flamenco music (which I enjoyed tremendously), looking for movements and rhythms that would spell “flamenco”. Soon I knew, that to me that would mean an upward swing and a circular motion, and that’s what I’d have to incorporate in my hair fork.

Swirl after swirl and sketch after sketch, the fork gradually took shape, so we met with K. to choose the wood it would be made of. K. felt that it had to be something bright, so her first choice was padauk, but after a long time of flipping through wooden blanks of all shapes, colors and textures, we settled upon purpleheart.  I’d had that vibrant magenta tinted bit of violet for over a year, and it was great to know that it had found its purpose.

I gave the fork a pair of classic parallel tines and an avant-garde topper, swooshing upwards from left to right. The swirl then washes back down, like a falling wave, in a circular motion, giving the topper a feel of the ever revolving and intertwining Yin and Yang. It can be worn both in a casual way, and with a fancier updo for special occasions, and I have to confess, the hue of purpleheart is something I can never stop admiring.

Walnut Tree Silhouette Hairfork


A while ago my colleague Pavel was building a walnut coffee table, and as usual, I was more than happy to accommodate his scraps. I love the rich chocolate hue of walnut.

I’ve been toying around with the idea of using negative space in my wooden designs for quite a while now, so I started by doing a few experiments with negative space in earrings. I drilled an entry hole with my finest drill bit (1/32″), then cut the pattern with my finest scroll saw blade (a nr. 1 Niqua Pinguin Silber, it’s only 0.011″ thick and o.025″ wide). The finer lines are a single cut, while the wider parts took several.

After some sketching I moved on to the hair forks. I decided to give them a square end instead of my usual rounded one to balance the subtle lines of the trees with something sound and sensible. Otherwise the forks have a classic shape with two long parallel prongs. It’s a shape I like for it’s simple  but elegant look and firm hold.

I have to confess, that when I finished scrolling the tree’s outlines, I spent quite a while playing with catching the lamp light in the tree’s scrolled silhouette. I really love thow these turned out, especially the way, when in an updo, the trees look as though they’re growing out the swirls of hair – and the very idea of carving trees in wood.




Crowing Rooster Walnut Hairfork


A while ago I fell in love with depictions of roosters in medieval illuminations.  For quite some time I would sketch roosters every which way whenever I had a free minute, with Greatful Dead’s “Crazy rooster crowing midnight” echoing in my head, and soon I came up with a hair fork design that was to be crowned with – you guessed it – a medieval style rooster.

Since I wanted the fork to have a very distinct silhouette, I decided to use a darker wood and eventually settled upon walnut. A friend of mine had given me some scraps that he had left over from building an amazing designer lamp with a complex geometrical structure.

I gave the fork a classic set of two slender parallel prongs, but decided to alter the shape of the topper to give the rooster an elevated perch and toggle the fork an overall balanced hourglass feel.

Knotted Beech Hair Fork

beech fork

A while ago a friend and colleague of mine who had been woking on a set of large curvy picture frames gave me some of his left over beech scraps – parts that he couldn’t use because of the knots. While absolutely useless to him, to me those bits of wood were a real treasure because of the exquisite patterns the knots created.

I decided that the wood called for a classic design, rather than something fancy, so that the grain could sing its song undisturbed, so I ended up making two large three prong forks for longer and heavier hair (I am hoping to get pictures of the second one soon). They are both slightly curved to the side to hold the hair better, and slightly convex to give a tighter fit against the head.

This shape gives a very firm hold, with my hair type they easily stay put the whole day, even if I’m very active (though they don’t do the trick for things like running – then again, I haven’t yet found a single fork/stick/pin combiёnation that does that for me). I used to mostly wear them with my favorite lazy-wrap style buns, but recently I’ve discovered that they are also great for holding up a french twist.

Needle Eye Beech Wood Hairfork


When working with wood, I like to create flowing shapes that are almost un-wooden in nature, creating flowing lines and making them look as if the piece was born that way and no human effort was involved in it’s creation. This leads to a lot of loops and curves – and, of course, extensive smoothing, sanding and polishing to remove any marks revealing that a tool was ever applied to the piece.

This hair stick is one of a series of needle eye hair sticks I’ve been making lately. I love the way the straight prong effortlessly transitions into a flowing loop, and how the loop looks almost more like it was bent and twisted, rather than cut into its shape. I also love how the  curve of the loop blends into the twist of the strands forming the hairdo.

Even though it’s a single fine prong, I would say that the stick holds the hair up quite well, it survived a long and busy test drive. But since its rather fine, it would probably not be enough for hair that’s thicker and heavier than mine, and would probably be better used as a decorative touch, rather then the single force holding your hair up.

All in all, I like the way it turned out, and I’m planning to make more along these lines in the near future.