Made in Michigan Gifts: Wooden Mugs

Ben Riskey is punch-drunk in love with wood in all its splendor, species, grains and colors, and he is unusually attached to scraps leftover from wood-building projects. So attached that he glues them together to get one piece big enough to use for something, including handcrafted wooden mugs.

Here’s Ben’s explanation of how he makes the mugs he markets under the name Wacky Wood Works. “They’re actually glued up in eight or ten flat segments, like the staves of a barrel, then sanded kind of round (or not). They take whatever shape the wood suggests.” Ben seals the mugs with a durable, FDA-approved food-safe finish.

The result is a piece of art that you can drink anything out of—hot or cold. Just don’t put the mugs in the dishwasher. Shown here: a 22-ounce mug made of poplar, bloodwood, maple, wenge, bird’s-eye maple, zebrawood and California redwood, $82, and a 16-ounce mug made of purpleheart wood and Brazilian satinwood, $66.

Riskey’s work is available at Michigan’s Gifts and Treasures, Interlochen, 231-632-8175 and Art and Soul Gallery, Traverse City,  231-947-4888. WACKYWOODWORKS.ETSY.COM.

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