The Craftsman – behind the scenes

You may have noticed a couple of new products appearing on our online store in the last couple of weeks. Alternatively, it may have slipped your attention entirely! Well it is true. Our online store is now adorned with pepper grinders to sell along side our Tasmanian pepperberry products. I thought this a good opportunity to spruik both the grinders and their maker, Mervyn Eaton. So here are a few words about Merv:

Stepping inside Merv Eaton’s workshop I am immediately drawn to the crowded benches. It is a small workshop bursting at the seams with lathes, chisels, drill bits, tools, painting pots, brushes, sand paper and curiously shaped wood bits here and there – treasures in the making. My eyes dart back and forth exploring – there is scarcely a free space for me to put down my camera. The air is filled with the alluring scent of freshly cut timber, solvents and finishing oils. It is a busy and creative space, rich for the imagination.

Merv in action at the lathe

Merv is a craftsman who has been working with Tassie timbers for 30 years, he tells me. It was the hobby that got out of control! Merv ran a panel beating business for 40 years but was sidelined by a back injury. Not one to stay idle for long, he took up wood turning and never looked back!

Over the years, Merv has made a diverse range of products including bowls, knives, grinders, walking sticks and various engineered products. Merv lets his work speak for itself and has never had to advertise. Instead he relies solely on word of mouth. Merv has sold his work all over the world – as far away as Alaska! – and has supplied local clients such as Saffire and Hobart’s Crown casino.

The craftsman making our Tassie timber pepper grinders

We are excited to have Merv on board our pepperberry team! Merv has provided us with pepper grinders with an original and stylish design; which are now available in our online store.

Did I mention that these grinders are hand made using Tasmanian specialty timbers? Merv sources his timber from Island Speciality Timbers, who are AFS accredited. Handmade means that every one is a little bit different and in itself a work of art. Handmade by a Tasmanian craftsman that takes pride in his work. What better?

Pepperberry is an alternative to black pepper. Why import black pepper from Vietnam or India when we have an amazing alternative growing here on our own shores (in our own backyard)??