Serve up in style - Sytch Farm Studios

15th September 2014

Launch of foodie gift set that's a perfect combination

Using their combined skills in carpentry and pottery, husband and wife team Jon and Gill Thompson, have worked together to produce a perfect gift for foodies. At their home at Sytch Farm Studios, in Shropshire, the pair have created handmade rustic wooden boards and stoneware pots perfect for fans of tapas, cheese, charcuterie and sharing platters

Match made in heaven

The idea to combine Jon and Gill’s skills came about when Gill bought a chopping board and realised how handy it would be to design a board which could incorporate a small bowl into the handle. She asked carpenter husband Jon, if he could help and between them an innovative idea was born.

The couple have been delighted to see their products gaining commercial success over the past six months.

Making the most of natural resources

Jon sources wood from Shropshire and the surrounding counties to create individual chopping and serving boards. He uses only sustainable wood, relying entirely on diseased or storm damaged native trees including Oak, Wild Cherry, Burr Elm, Apple, Plane Tree and Walnut.

For her bowls and vessels, Gill uses clay from a small claypit in St Agnes, Cornwall, near where she grew up.

Sytch Farm Studios' logo is the ammonite – that links Gill’s Cornish life by the sea and Shrewsbury’s association with Charles Darwin.

A passion for pots and planes

A carpenter by trade, Jon uses British hardwoods that he cleans, planes and oils to reveal the individual character of each piece. The wood itself determines the shape and size of the boards, with each piece having a unique character.

Gill produces hand-thrown stoneware pottery using high fire stoneware clay. The bowls are dipped in a variety of food-safe glazes and are fired at extremely high temperatures. They are ideal for condiments, dips, dressings, sauces and other accompaniments, and are all dishwasher safe.

Gifts for gourmets

Jon and Gill’s designs have impressed shoppers at local, regional and national events such as the Shrewsbury Food Festival and Chris Evans’ Carfest. This has led to interest from Michelin-starred, television chef, Tom Kerridge who loves their products and has made a special order of Gill’s bowls
for his restaurant and home.

The boards and bowls make thoughtful Christmas gifts for food-loving friends who appreciate the best of British craftsmanship. As well as stylishly combining rustic and modern design, nature lovers will also appreciate Jon’s sympathetic use of timber. Those concerned about their carbon footprint will be delighted to find a gift sourced and created entirely in Britain in their festive stocking.

Gill commented on starting Sytch Farm Studios:

"Last year we converted one of the farm buildings into a studio. I started making pots for friends who encouraged me to take them to a craft fair. I began with the Frost Fair at Attingham Park and was blown away by the reception they received. Since then we have added Jon’s beautiful wooden boards to our product range and have been very excited by the response just six months after launching. We’ve had an outstanding reception from customers eager to buy them as Christmas presents for friends and family, or even just for themselves."


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