Ondra has been connected to wood making since early childhood as his grandfather was a sculptor of stone and wood. Our first cooperation was Teaboats "Teabridges", and at the time Ondra also made hand-carved tea scoop. The most important aspect of Ondra's work is finding fallen wood in nature. He started collecting wood on his wanderings around the place he lives. He says about this process:" Exciting pieces of timber are lying on the ground in the forest or elsewhere; one needs to look closely to see them. It has become a great passion, almost an obsession. There is not only a sense of satisfaction in being able to supply the material I work with but a delight in giving these wooden gems a second life. They have such a beautiful character, marked by weather and natural forces."
A crucial part of his work is the wood finish so that the natural beauty of the wood grain is presented in the best way possible. It is how the surface is treated, how it is prepared for contact with moisture, that will determine how it will look for the years to come. Several wet and sand cycles are usually necessary to ensure a beautiful look and feel. He wants the finished piece to have the appearance of just being pulled from a river, where it had sat for a long time. A smooth, pebble-like feel - sometimes with the natural texture preserved, or occasionally with a rough surface - is his desired result. To that, he says: "I am always happy when I hear my efforts and detailed work is noticed and enjoyed. Sometimes I decide to leave tool marks or use fire to enhance the look of the piece or create texture. The finish is decided for each type of wood in close connection with the function of the piece. Pure shellac resin I dissolve in ethanol is the most common treatment I use for scoops and needles. This is an old, traditional method of fine wood finishing and has proven, for me, the best option over the years. However, when I feel the piece benefits from it, I leave it natural. For pieces that require more durability, I use a natural hardening oil finish.
If you would like to follow Ondra's wooden journey, you can do so on Instagram, where you find him as @samorost.