Forty sixth at Grace is the address of a blog I stumbled on years ago and passed the time of day with ever since. There was something compelling in the photography – it drew you in without resorting to gimmicks- the clean, open modern styling of the site and the sparse text with measured words all contributed to a space that was at once warm and special. Nikole Herriot has since moved the blog but you can still go through her archives. She definitely has an eye for design and recognised the potential in the woodwork of her father’s hands. Packages mailed across Canada bore handmade wooden spoons, lovingly created by her father from wood he’d been collecting for decades. Nikole knows that excellent craftsmanship speaks for itself. There might be other souls who would truly appreciate the provenance, time, effort and passion that went into each of these unique wooden pieces. I am definitely one of those people.
Nikole opened an online shop, Herriot Grace, founded on the affection between and based on the talents of, father and daughter. Here, you will find maple wooden cake pedestals, rustic flag stands which can double as wee wooden cake blocks, beautifully detailed rolling pins, maple and chestnut bowls of various sizes, cherry platters and of course, the wooden spoons. The designs themselves are the work of a master, one who understands the beauty of the raw material, showcasing it without interference. Just looking at the picture, you instinctively know how it would feel in your hands. Natural. Nikole’s atmospheric photography, echoing the style of her blog, displays her father’s work simply. There is no gilding required. They have been running incredibly successfully over the last three years. It’s satisfying to see that their ideals for this undertaking haven’t altered in that time.
This isn’t a one-size-fits-all, homogenous production, some of the pieces are one offs. Their items sell quickly, so if you want to buy it, get on their mailing list to get ahead. Without having read the background story, I knew there was something deep and sincere about the things I was looking at. This video explains it all in more detail. I would highly recommend watching it, it’s beautifully done and it’s always gratifying to know the face, names and the ideals behind the people whose work you greatly admire. For me, there is passion, integrity and love involved in all the aspects of this undertaking. I would be very happy to have a bit of that in my home.
All images are from the site Herriot Grace and are used with the permission of Nikole Herriot.