Wikipedia describes an artisan as a skilled craftsman who creates functional or decorative items by hand, such as furniture, household items, and decorative arts. We have found a skilled woodworking artisan in Weaverville – Phil Pratt of Silverhawk Woodworking.
Silverhawk Sawdust is a home-based studio in Weaverville, specializing in unique, custom-designed creations ranging from decorative bowls and kitchen items to built-in shelving, cabinetry, stair bannisters, pens, and even large point-of-purchase displays for retail stores. If your imagination can conceive it, chances are good Phil can create it for you.
Phil has been into woodworking nearly 50 years, since inheriting some power tools from an uncle. “Back in 1974, when my wife and I married and had little money, I built a set of unique shelves using wormy cedar,” he said. “My love of woodworking has grown from there.”
Phil’s love for woodworking evolved from hobby to business about ten years ago, when he purchased a high-end table saw. “One might say it was a cabinet-maker’s saw compared to a contractor’s table saw. This meant I could measure the tolerances down to 1/100” versus 1/16”, which makes a huge difference when mitering a corner,” Phil said.
Using the upgraded saw, Phil began making high quality furniture, but still not selling it. “A few years later, my wife gave me my first lathe and I began turning bowls, pens, candle sticks, salt & pepper mills, etc.,” Phil said. “People started wanting to buy them and I was on my way. I started getting orders from corporations for 25 and 50 pens at a time using the exotic woods I purchased locally at Cormark International and Klingspor Woodworking Shop.”
Soon customers began asking for more. “I started making larger things like benches, cabinets and special fixtures for retail stores. The Asheville Visitor Center has become almost a showroom for some of my point-of-purchase displays and pedestals,” Phil said.
Silverhawk Sawdust really stands out for its ability to combine functionality with creativity. “A set of shelves can also function as a banister while being aesthetically pleasing to the eye,” Phil said. “Or a decorative Volcano Dish© can serve as a candy or nuts servicing plate. My small, lidded boxes are not only beautiful pieces of wood but can function as a salt cellar or jewelry box.”
Often the character of the wood itself dictates its unique aesthetic. “I often will use exotic woods (all legal in the United States) such as amboyna, sapele, thuya, bubinga, cocobolo, padauk, and olivewood,” Phil said. “The unique grains and colorings make for high eye appeal and most polish up to be extremely smooth. Next, if I’m turning something on a lathe, I will often allow the wood to tell me what form it wants to take. Sometimes I start turning with one design in mind but by exposing a knot or a check (crack), or maybe unique grain colors appear, I take a whole different approach to the finished item.”
Talking about unique, no two of Phil’s in-store displays are alike. “A few years ago the manager from The Asheville Shop at the Asheville Chamber of Commerce said she wanted a point-of-purchase (P.O.P.) display to handle newspapers, maps, fudge, magazines, etc., and on the back, she needed an organizing system to hold paperwork. These are the projects I love because I must be both creative and functional, plus combine a little engineering for structure and safety. Prior to cutting wood, I provide my client with mechanical drawings showing perspective views so they can better see what my mind is envisioning. Making changes on paper is a lot cheaper than once I start cutting the wood,” Phil said.
Phil’s love of wood totally shapes his “philosophy” of woodworking and wood art creation. “Wood is a fun medium that allows for creativity, strength and beauty,” he said. “Regardless of whether I’m making a P.O.P. display, unique candlesticks, a violin stand, or whatever, wood permits a craftsperson to be imaginative, to generate straight lines or curves, to mix with other mediums, to let the mind reach new artistic levels. This is possible because wood has its own strength, whether it’s a carved table leg or a thinly turned bowl that allows light to shine through the skin. And lastly, it has inherent beauty. I think every woodworker would agree that the most rewarding process is when stain and/or oil is applied to a finished creation and the grain coloring pops! For me, it’s always a WOW moment.”
Among all this creativity and variety, Phil has some favorite products. “My Volcano Dish© comes to mind, as the name is the result of imagination,” Phil said. “I had purchased a chunk of mallee wood, which is from the eucalyptus tree family grown in Australia. I had no idea of what it would become when I started carving it. The outer surface was gnarly, pointed, sharp – almost ugly – and the coloring was non-descript. Suddenly as I dug deeper into the wood, reds and whites and some browns became exposed to where it appeared like a volcano spewing red hot magna from the center and ultimately drying to an outer lava field that was gnarly, pointed, sharp, and almost ugly.
“A second favorite is the Stuffed Animal Cave at the Asheville Shop. Once I asked why several stuffed animals were on the floor under a table and I was told that kids love crawling under there to play while Mom and Dad are shopping. And this often leads to them getting to take one home. I said, ‘Why don’t you make that into a cave?’ and the manager allowed me to go with the idea. Now there’s a sign on it saying, No Adults Allowed!”
There are more favorites. “I could go on and on talking about my Heathered Pens (made from the iconic shrub that grows in the British Isles), or my colorful bangle bracelets made from wood burls and colorful resins, or some unique wood bowls, or … or ... I think you get the idea,” Phil said.
Phil’s enthusiasm spills over into large product creations. “I enjoy listening to clients explain a need, and I’ll take a few notes,” he said. “Within a day or so while my memory is fresh, I’ll submit a perspective drawing of what I envisioned them wanting. More times than not, I’m very close to their wishes and with some minor tweaks here or there, I’m given the go-ahead. Nowadays it may be a few months before I can start their project, but the drawings are there from which to work.
“As examples, one lady asked whether a glass tabletop could be replaced with a wood surface accepting expansion leaves. She was delighted with the result. She then asked for Tao-style shelves that would also function as a bannister protecting a stairwell. To enhance the Asian influence, I turned a Pagoda to be a handhold before descending the stairs. Another person wanted a built-in cabinet using barn wood. Or the Grove Arcade needed a special rack card display that would be versatile to allow different size material to be inserted, which could change periodically.”
We would like to emphasize that although we see Phil as a true artisan in his field, he is far more humble. “One will note my title on my business card is Master Sawdust Creator,” he said. “Having lived in the Asheville area for 15 years, I recognize the phenomenal craftsmanship in the area, some by true master craftsmen. These are individuals who have worked all their lives in the trade, not just as a hobby. Having said that, while I don’t consider myself a master, my clients keep coming back for more of my work which suggests it’s of high quality and creativity. And I’m very good at making sawdust!”
So if you’re looking for some high quality sawdust, along with beautiful and functional wood creations, check out Silverhawk Woodworking.
Watch the Sawdust Master at work:
On the web: https://silverhawksawdust.com
Phone: (828) 450-0189
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Natural You Health Spa uses the latest weight-loss technology combined with the best nutritional guidance and supportive coaching to create a better, Natural You.
Conveniently located in the Westgate Plaza. Call 828-785-1708 for an appointment.
Access Your Reality is a healing practice offering energetic body work and facilitation.
Life changes are rarely easy. They take a lot of effort and determination. Access Your Reality will help you with your changes.
Conveniently located on Charlotte Street in Asheville.
Are you familiar with acupuncture? If you've ever wanted to try it, or if you'd like to try a different practitioner, try Ramsey Higgins at Acupuncture Integrative Medicine Clinic. Ramsey has the skill and knowledge to help keep you in optimal health. Call her at 828-773-2435 to make an appointment. Conveniently located on Tunnel Rd.
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You could say thank you with candy or a card, but why not go all out and give them something they will remember for much longer than a candy bar. Edible Arrangements in Asheville has so many ways to say Thanks!
Edible Arrangements first opened in Asheville in November 2005. Ever since, They’ve been helping people in the area celebrate all kinds of occasions – big and small. Their fruit arrangements and gifts are always freshly-crafted using fruit that's grown and picked to their Fruit Expert standards. And, they have the best variety of gourmet chocolate Dipped Fruit, too! (Visit them any time for a FREE sample!)
Did you know they also have fresh fruit treats you can enjoy on the go? Stop by today to grab a fresh fruit smoothie, Edible Donut, chocolate Dipped Fruit Cone, or any one of their other delicious fresh fruit snacks! They’re perfect for picnics, lunch break snacks, and even as an afternoon pick-me-up!
If you need a birthday gift, wedding favors, a holiday centerpiece, or even a little something just because, give us them call at 828-252-1550.
Edible Arrangements in Asheville is the place to get beautiful and tasty gifts for any occasion.
Be sure to check their special, Petible Arrangements! Snif around their April 1st collection before it's gone!
Are you looking for the perfect gift for the person who has “everything?” We all have friends who don’t want any more “stuff” to clutter up their homes, even if our gifts are thoughtful and given with loving intentions. The perfect solution is a gift from Edible Arrangements. It’s healthy, delicious, and after it’s eaten, it disappears without a trace!
Edible Arrangements owners Diana King and Susan Rossignol strive to connect with every customer to make their occasions special. “We know we are an extension of the message a loved one is trying to deliver,” Diana says, “whether it be a birthday, anniversary or just someone wanting to say thank you. We take it seriously and are so grateful we were chosen to be part of their message. Especially if they need to send a get well bouquet to someone in the hospital, or a sympathy bouquet to a family, we will make it special.”
Edible Arrangements has served the Asheville area since 2005, creating unique gifts for many occasions. “Our number one occasion is birthdays, and we have hundreds of different types of arrangements all made with fresh fruit, “Diana says. “Our focal point is our pineapples that we use to create shapes to define the arrangement. We surround this with fresh honeydew, cantaloupe, strawberries topped with red seedless grapes. Some of the arrangements we make can be with just pineapples and strawberries and others will include oranges and dipped apple shaped like a donut.”
Other special occasions are holidays, especially Valentine’s Day, Mothers Day, and Christmas. “Each holiday we focus our energy on creating special baskets themed to the holiday or events like basketball designs, chocolate Easter bunny pineapples, shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day or snowmen and reindeer during Christmas,” Diana explains. “In the summer, gift creations include fruits like kiwi, watermelon, mangos, and blueberries.”
In addition to amazing edible gift creations, you can also get great fresh fruit smoothies at Edible Arrangements. “This is something a lot of people do not realize we do, and we are working to distinguish ourselves from other smoothie places that use syrupy products,” Diana says. “We have a grab and go section to our store that allows a customer to see our gourmet dipped fruit options and create their own quick pickup boxes of singles, half dozen or even a full dozen of dipped, apples, bananas, strawberries and pineapples.“
Diana says her favorite treats at Edible Arrangements are the smiles she gets from happy customers. “My personal favorite is chocolate dipped apples. We dip Granny Smith apples in chocolate for a delightful tart and sweet combination. A lot of my team will tell you that their favorite is the double dipped bananas that are first dipped in semisweet chocolate and then in white chocolate,” she says.
What makes an Edible Arrangements creation a really great gift? Here’s Diana’s explanation. “We are a fresh take on an old custom of giving flowers,” she says. “We’re a healthy alternative to just chocolate, and we make everything to order every day, so you are guaranteed the freshest fruits that have been cut and put into amazing designs by our well trained fruit experts. It’s this attention to detail and dedication to quality that makes someone’s day a little sweeter when they receive one of our designs.”
Diana says she feels great satisfaction in making people happy with Edible Arrangements. “We never knew how big this would get once we gained name recognition. It’s such a great feeling when we are asked what we do, and are met with OH MY GOSH, I love you guys or I received one of your arrangements and it was so amazing!”
Most of all Diana says she feels part of the bigger picture through her involvement with her business. “I love making a contribution to our community from creating jobs that people can take pride in the many nonprofits we have helped over the years, and to the smiles on the little kids’ faces when they open the door and see us standing there with a delivery. I take pride in mentoring young people who have been part of our team and remain close to lots of team members who have moved on,” Diana says. “I consider it a privilege to assist people by sharing the wealth of knowledge I have gained not just from this business but the corporate world I came from.”
5 Regent Park Blvd, Suite 101
Asheville, NC 28806
Edible Arrangements Asheville Website
Edible Arrangements Asheville Facebook Page
Edible Arrangements Asheville on Incredible Towns
The daffodils are growing, the trees are blooming, and people are enjoying downtown Asheville. Whether it's a trip to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, lunch at Posana, Strada, or one of the many other fine restaurants, or just throwing a frisbee in Pack Square Park, it's a great time to get out and about! Remember to Support Local.
Asheville is well-known for more than just beer. Have you visited an art gallery? Gone to a play? Visited the River Arts District? For lovers of the Arts, Asheville is a truly Incredible Town. For more ideas on things to do, visit our local events page.
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Pets and Carpet – can they live together? Yes, but it takes some effort.
Do you have a dog or cat – or several? We do, too! We love them dearly, but they can be really rough on carpet. Day in and day out, we see just how rough at homes all around Asheville. Pets can bring in an amazing amount of dirt and hair. Here are some ideas from one pet lover to another about how to keep it under control.
Wipe Those Feet!
You can prevent pets from putting dirt on your carpet by. Keep a towel close to the door, especially on rainy days, and wipe their paws off when they come inside. It may take a few times for them (and your kids) to get used to the idea, but it will make a big difference. Once they know it’s part of the routine, it gets easy.
Add an Area Rug to the Room
Does your pet have a favorite area in the room? Consider putting an area rug there – you can find nice looking but inexpensive ones pretty easily, and train your pets to spend most of their time on the area rug and not the carpet.
Clean urine and feces quickly
If your pet makes deposits on your carpet, remove solid matter and blot up the liquid quickly with paper towels. Mix white vinegar and water half and half, and dampen the affected area with it
thoroughly, then blot up with paper towel. You can then use your Citrus Spotter spray bottle we leave with you to clean any remaining dirt and neutralize odor.
It’s amazing how much pet hair we pull out of carpet every day when we are cleaning. The easiest way to keep it out of your carpet is to get it off your pet fist. Most pets love a good brushing, and if you have kids it’s a great task for them to do. They might just come to love making the family pets happy! Have your pets professionally groomed regularly if you can – but know that you can do a lot. 5 minutes of brushing a day will make an amazing difference.
Change the entryways to hard surface flooring
Consider installing hard floor near the pet entryways and doorways. There are many choices ranging from tile to laminate to vinyl that you can combine with a washable entry rug to prevent pets tracking dirt and grass into the carpet in the house.
Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum!!
Vacuuming regularly is the best thing you can do. If you can stay ahead of dirt and hair from building up in the carpet. You may have to vacuum your carpet several times a week. You will also need to vacuum your furniture. Any dirt that is on the furniture can easily end up on the carpet.
Confine Them to One Place
If you have a pet that keeps messing up your carpet, then you may want to consider putting them in a room that does not have carpet. You do not necessarily have to keep your pet in this area all of the time. You can just keep them there when you are not home or at night.
What Your Pet Eats Matters
Check out our friends at Woof Gang Bakery in Biltmore Park Town Square for great tasting, responsibly made pet foods. You don’t feed yourself or your kids junk food – check ingredients labels to see what your feeding your pets. Common pet foods are mostly made of corn meal and other ingredients that are not natural diet elements for dogs and cats.
Keep Those Nails Trimmed
Paws and claws damage carpet. Period. Get some trimmers and learn how to use them or have a professional groomer trim them regularly.
Have your carpets professionally cleaned regularly
The aforementioned tips will help, but depending on how well you can follow them, and how many pets you have, you will need to have your carpet professionally cleaned two or three times per year. Call CitruSolution of Asheville for the most effective, safest, natural carpet cleaning available.