Pepper Mill in Queensland Maple handmade by Bob Gilmour - Gilmour Design, Australia.

I recently put a finish coat on the first of a new series of Pepper Mills I’ve been working on for the last few weeks. This one is made in salvaged Queensland Maple and stands about 31 cm tall (approx. 12 inches). The internal grinding mechanism is made in Denmark by CrushGrind and is the best you can buy … ceramic grinding surfaces with nylon, stainless steel and aluminium hardware … nothing to rust … and, providing an adjustable grind from coarse to very fine. Stay tuned.

muddler 3640 - large muddler muddle stick handmade by Bob Gilmour, Gilmour Design, Auastralia

I finished this gorgeous pair of Muddler 3640’s this week for a regular customer who is giving them to family members as gifts later in the year. The wood types pictured are (L) figured Forest Redgum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) and (R ) Queensland Walnut (Endiandra palmerstonii) … both from salvaged stock.

Muddler 3640 is a fairly large, medium to heavy weight muddler @ 36 cm long and 40 mm in diameter at the working end. It’s a great muddler in medium to tall glasses and is also perfect for use in a cocktail shaker or jug (aka pitcher for our American friends).

Furthermore, Muddler 3640 is a great tool in the kitchen for crushing, rolling and generally banging on stuff when required.

Misty the workshop dog - American Bulldog x Catahoula

Meet the Workshop Dog … This is Misty. She’s an American Bulldog X Catahoula.

Misty is patiently waiting for me to stop doing all this completely unimportant stuff in the workshop and start focusing on something a lot more important … like … WALK!!!

best selling kitchen utensils - The Classic Stirrer and Traditional Spatula - by Bob Gilmour, Gilmour Design, Australia

“The Classic Stirrer” and “Traditional Spatula – Bev” are my 2 best long-selling kitchen utensils. I’ve been making these two stirrers for 20 years (this month). “The Classic Stirrer”, back in September 2001 opened up a rabbit-hole I didn’t see coming … and doesn’t appear to be showing any signs of ending. In all that time, the designs for these utensils … and the other core utensils in my range … haven’t changed. They are all intuitional forms that look great, feel very comfortable to hold … and they work!!

wood lathe shavings on the workshop floor - bob gilmour - gilmour design

Wood lathe shavings on the workshop floor early this morning.

I have been doing some setup work involving the lathe and also my CNC machine to create a set of mandrels and metal fixture plates for the pepper and salt mills I make. I’ve always wanted a better method to progress through the various stages of drilling and shaping of the mills on the lathe. The past few days has centered around creating a common centreline reference using matching fixture plates so I can create a set of mandrels on the CNC that respect the same centreline on the lathe. More about that another time.

I wonder what's possible. Leather keyring by Bob Gilmour, Australia - Gilmour Design.

This year I have started to do a bit of leather crafting and have scaled back a little on some of the work I’ve been doing with wood for the last 20 years or so. It’s something I’ve been interested in for a long time but have never committed to pursuing working with leather seriously.

I think leather is a really interesting medium because its soft and pliable like fabric (and 2 dimensional) yet, at the same time, exhibits many of the qualities of a three dimensional solid … including some of the limitations. Also, coming from a background containing lots of wood, I’m seeing characters in the leather which are familiar to me as grain and figuring in wood … though, which might not necessarily be how traditional leatherworkers view leather.

To date, I’ve been making some leather journal covers, phone pouches and a couple bags and a few smaller items. I’ve spent a lot of time getting my technique up to a level of quality that I’m happy with and everything I’ve made so far has been hand-stitched (two-needle saddle stitch).

Two hand-stitched leather journal covers made by Bob Gilmour, Australia - Gilmour Design

I just finished hand-stitching these two leather journal covers for A5 size hardcover notebooks. These are a 3 piece cover with separate front and back piece and spine. The spine and covers have skived transitions so there’s no sharp bumps and two rows of saddle stitch to hold it all together.

The leathers used here are brown “Crazy Horse” pattern waxed leather, gold milled upholstery leather and black “Kip” boot leather. The black and gold leathers are about 6 oz and the “Crazy Horse” is 5 oz. I cut the pieces for both of these books close to the edges of the hides in each case because I just love the texturing and stretch marks that have grown over the years in these high wear and stress regions.


Handmade leather belt pouch by Australian Maker Bob Gilmour - Gilmour Design

Here’s one of a couple leather belt pouches I made recently. This is hand-stitched and made from fairly heavy weight leather … approx. 6oz (2.5 mm thick). The black leather is “Kip” boot leather and the gold is mill-finished upholstery stock. I didn’t make the belt … it’s an old favourite from 20-odd years ago.

I really like the texture in the black leather … the stretch marks in the hide that bring some of the life of the animal who donated it to the end product. I think coming from a background of working with wood I’m drawn to the parts of leather hides, especially around the edges, that might not get used by traditional leather crafters. The smooth unblemished leathers obtained from purpose-bred animals seen in high fashion definitely have their place … but so too does the more textural and seemingly less perfect leather animals who’ve seen a more normal existence.

Handmade spoons on the bench ready for sanding. Work in Progress by Bob Gilmour, Australia - Gilmour Design.

Here are some rough-shaped shallow stirring spoons on the bench yesterday morning ready for final shaping and sanding. They got their final finish coats on in the arvo.

Two handmade shallow stirring spoons in recycled merbau hardwood by Bob Gilmour, Australia - Gilmour Design

I’ve been tweaking the design of this spoon a bit lately and reckon I have it how I like it now. It’s a shallow stirring spoon based on my “Bev” Traditional Spatula / Stirrer. So far, I’ve only been making them as right-handers but plan to offer the design in left-handed configuration as well … just have to think in reverse.

This is a trio of curvaceous shallow stir spoons made from recycled Merbau (x2) and salvaged Queensland Maple (x1). I really like the shape of this spoon … it’s quite complex … yet simple … I like that.