Magnolia Wooden Ladle

A classic hand-carved wooden ladle from Hida-Takayama, Gifu Prefecture.

£130 per item


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This wooden ladle is hand carved in Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture from magnolia wood using methods passed down since the Edo period. The name of the ladle, ‘utō shakushi‘ comes from the long abandoned rural village of Utō located close to Takayama City. The production of these wooden ladles was born out of necessity, but their classic shape was improved over time resulting in well-designed utilitarian tools to suit modern kitchens. Magnolia wood is known for its softness and light weight, and the ladles are both durable and gentle on pots and pans. The production is normally carried out during the winter months because magnolia wood turns black in the summer due to the large amount of absorbed nutrients. The softness of the magnolia wood, which makes it easy to carve by hand, is influenced by its moisture content. To prevent moisture from escaping a band is applied to the end of the log before they are processed. At the beginning of the carving process, the wood is cut along the fibres of the wood with a hatchet first then a knife. As the ladle takes shape a specially designed curved plane is used to create smooth edges. Only one blacksmith in Takayama remains today who knows how to make these planes, which are necessary to smooth out the fibres on the ladle’s surface, making it resistant to dirt and water. The wave-like design of its bowl makes it easy to pick up ingredients without damaging them.

Dry well after washing.

Size: L30 cm x W9 cm x H4 cm

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