“Woodworking taps into so many aspects of art & creation that I love. It gives me the opportunity to slow down and connect with the natural elements and myself” - Kelle Ramsey, Founder of Unlikely Objects.
Timeless, everyday objects from Kelle Ramsey’s Unlikely Objects Collection is a beautiful reminder for us to appreciate the small and often neglected objects in our everyday life. Kelle Ramsey’s minimalistic approach to her craft lets the beauty from the raw materials and the subtle hand-carved details shine. From coffee spoons to bowls and vases, every item in her collection is a stellar piece you would be proud of leaving on your kitchen counter.
Unlikely Objects look to provide a luxurious alternative to what's currently stowed away in your kitchen cabinet, reevaluate the way we look at everyday objects, and challenge today’s disposable culture where homes are often ladened with uncharacteristic, machine-made products.
Today, Founder Kelle Ramsey shares her journey of transitioning from a photographer to starting Unlikely Objects as a self-taught woodworker.
K: Kelle Ramsey
P: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
K: I am a self-taught woodworker and photographer living in California with my husband and our sweet dog Jade. I split my time and attention between carving, and photography.
P: What drew you into woodworking in the first place?
K: I have always loved creating with my hands. Growing up, my parents were always encouraging my brother and I to build things, make messes and explore. Thanks to my dad, It’s pretty ingrained in me that if something breaks, I can most likely figure out a way to fix it. What drew me to woodworking was my upbringing, and unknowingly wanting to get back in touch with simplicity in my mid 20s while living in New York.
P: What was your journey like leading up to where Unlikely Objects is now?
K: Like all things meant to be, I honestly stumbled into woodworking. It wasn’t something I dreamed of for years, or have any formal training in. I actually have a Fine Art degree in photography, and while living in New York and working as a photographer, my best friend and I spent one afternoon attempting to carve wooden spoons on a whim. It took us hours, and the spoons turned out horrible! But I fell in love with it and carve whenever I get the chance. Because I am also a photographer and have a successful career, I felt no pressure to make money from woodworking. It gave me the freedom to learn, make mistakes, and hone in on the art of carving. Woodworking taps into so many aspects of art and creating that I love. It gives me the opportunity to slow down, connect with the natural elements I work with and myself. It allows me to create something simple and aesthetically pleasing, and of course I love photographing my pieces.
P: How do you go about choosing the type of wood to use? Are there certain types that are more suitable for specific objects? Do different types of wood change the outcome of the product?
K: The wood that I use are hardwoods - mostly walnut, maple, & cherry. Hardwoods are the best for what I create, because the objects I make are for using, like utensils, and hardwoods are more durable for this purpose. People often think my pieces are fragile, and while some are, they are mostly sturdy and can withstand years of use. I often pick the shade of wood on whatever I am in the mood for, I let my curiosity guide me.
P: Have you ever experimented with other methods such as wood turning? Tell us about your experience, and whether or not you will be implementing these methods into your Collections.
K: I hand carve all of my pieces just because that is the way I taught myself. I also didn’t have access to a wood workshop with equipments and tools. Over the years, there are some tools that I have implemented into my work. For example, I use a bandsaw to cut blanks and some rotary tools to help me shape pieces so I don’t spend eight hours on every piece. However, I do still love using basic hand tools as much as possible. I was recently gifted a lathe, and I am so excited to learn how to use it and see what I can create.
P: What is the most challenging product to make out of your collection?
K: Every piece I create is challenging in its own way. There isn’t one piece that's easy or quick to create, which is a great reminder to slow down and be present in the process.
P: What do you love most about woodworking? What is your least favourite part?
K: My favourite part about woodworking is that it continues to teach me so much about life. It reminds me that great things take time, that you can turn anything into something beautiful, and the imperfect is perfect. I also love how it allows me to create subtle beauty that tells a story which I can share with the world. I love knowing that in another home, family and friends are gathered around sharing food using one of my pieces, or that a vase I made is on someone’s meditation alter, holding pieces of dried flowers from a special moment in their lives.
P: Are you currently working on any projects that you would like to share with us?
K: Through carving I have discovered other aspects of woodworking that I really love. I’m currently creating a collection of prints from wood blocks that I hand carved. I love that I can create a wood block and make multiple prints with it, unlike my other works where it’s a one-off. I’m really excited to see where this new curiosity will take me.
Beautiful objects made by Kelle Ramsey is a prime example of when passion points in the right direction, giving Kelle the opportunity to shine in a field she truly loves. We want to thank Kelle for sharing her journey and inspiration with us, and we are sure every owner of her creation feels the thoughtfulness behind each piece when they bring them home.
To learn more about Unlikely Objects, visit here.