Several years ago a dear friend of mine that
I love as a brother - tried to help
me get a KitchenStick business up and going. We had the sticks made at a
furniture business in Mebane, NC that has since closed. Back then I couldn't make them and chop out Dough-bowls too, and had no machinery other than a sander and a chop (miter) saw. I worked 14 hour days, 6 and 7 days a week on bowls alone
so there was no time for the KitchenSticks.
it didn't work out - we ended the KitchenSticks business and "my dear friend" wisely figured out that
not only was he better off without the KitchenStick business - but also
better off without having anything to do with me too! I
guess the old saying of "don't go into business with friends or family" is just
good sound advice. I hate that it went the way it did, I discouraged the
from day 1 but that's life, I guess.
have so many people wanting the sticks and believing that they
make cooking easier for them and many with arthritis swearing that they help
them - so I'll keep on making them here in the shop. I have bought all the
machinery to help me make the KitchenSticks here, doing it all myself - starting out with a solid log, and ending with several boxes full of beautifully shaped and smoothly textured tools. I want more folks to
enjoy them and as it has NEVER BEEN ABOUT MONEY
with me - I don't mind making less on them, hoping to sell even more. If the truth
be known, in my effort to help folks - I've probably given away as many
KitchenSticks over the years as I've sold.
The new prices I have on these ... A 2pak will sell for $5 - plus $3.50 shipping
for orders east of the Mississippi..
and a 3pak for $7.50 with $4.00 for shipping. Any sale in North Carolina will also
have to pay our sales tax. Shipping on larger orders is figured by weight. Any
orders over 500 miles away will pay exactly what USPS charges me.
still getting a lot of requests for bowls - even though I am no longer sending
any thru the mail - selling whatever I do sell only at the
NC State Fair.
old saying that "all good things must come to an end", and so it
did with my
selling handmade dough-bowls on the internet. I have sent bowls all over the
world, from a soldier in Bahrain to people in every state in the US except
Hawaii (I'd have given someone in Hawaii a heck of a deal on a bowl !!!) ... all
across Canada and Europe and many other countries.
writing was on the wall as soon as I was able to have major surgery on my spine
in April of 2014. Dr. Hsu at the Clemmons Spine Center was very clear in saying that I
had to slow down. He said I'm not Superman, I'm pushing 60 and needed to start
acting like it - and "IF" I ever hope to be able to enjoy life - I'd better
get started. He got me out of pain but my back is "JUNK". I've never been
one to back off and give in to pain ... I worked through it for 38 years and on
the day of the surgery I prayed as hard as I ever prayed in my life ... I said
God, "I have no brownie points and no chips to cash in... please either guide
Dr. Hsu's hands to do whatever is needed to get me out of this pain or please do
not let me wake up. I do not want to live another minute as I've had to live the
past 38 years".
obviously I lived - The pain is far less and I thank God daily for this. I have been given a second
chance on life and I ain't going to screw it up. I cannot make enough bowls for
the world ... you continuously requested more and more until I couldn't make in
a year what was regularly ordered in a few weeks ... selling 54 bowls on-line in a little
over 2 hours and 20 minutes one Friday night a few years ago really opened my
eyes as to how popular I had gotten. I had over 650 people on-line at one time
trying to buy those 54 bowls.
thank you all ... from Paulette in Mississippi who bought 9 bowls ... Butch in
Norlina who now has 11 and wanting more - to all of those who brought me to tears
many times with the letters you sent after receiving one of my bowls.
many folks traveled long distances to buy my bowls at the
NC State Fair over the years
... two different folks came from Los Angeles, some from Ohio, a mother and
daughter made two trips from Minnesota, a family from Connecticut, a couple from
Colorado and Utah ... Yvonne has made 8 trips now from Washington DC ... from there to Florida and many other states thrown in for
good measure - I have been humbled by your desire to have one of my bowls.
from time to time - I'll still have KitchenSticks
for sale - email me with any questions you
may have for taking care of an old bowl, etc ... and be sure to see my links
page for others who may be able to get you the bowl you want. ...have a good 'un
... I intend to listen to Dr. Hsu and spend more time with my wife Nancy, more
time spoiling my granddaughter Katie, exercising the fish at several lakes in
the area I live and knocking down a few more deer this winter... Love you all
David Weatherly from WGHP-TV
in High Point NC came over and taped a segment of "Roy's Folks"
- a human interest story which airs each afternoon on their 6 o'clock news ...
This 2-3 minute segment shows some interesting person or event from across NC
that has caught their eye. David is the producer and contacted
me so that he could come a few weeks ago and filmed a segment on my bowl
making. You can see
the link to it on my home
page at the bottom of the page. I am amazed at the interest my bowls receive, and I feel he
did a good interview. David called me just before my
spine surgery wanting to come over but after hearing about all the health
problems I was having at the time graciously said he'd wait until I was in better shape to
come over. He noticed my "News Page" here recently where I was reporting how
well I am doing so he figured I might be ready to be on his
show. I was happy to oblige but hated for more folks to be exposed to my work and
be disappointed when I don't have enough to sell them one.
But A few minutes after it aired I got the following email
... please give it a good reading ...
God bless you sir!
While watching Fox 8 news this afternoon, there was a brief
clip of you making your bowls and your lovely grand-daughter faithfully by your
side. Nothing, not one thing, has brought so much joy to my soul as to see a man
with a craft; that turned into a talent, and now hopes to pass that blessing
along with his prodigy!
I haven’t priced any of your works of art yet, but, there will
be a few wrapped in pretty foil for my people back in New Mexico around
Christmas time. The beauty you capture in nature’s workings simply leaves me
open mouthed and wanting more. I thank you for sharing your story with Fox 8. I
thank you for having the talent to make enough for more than just your family to
enjoy! I thank God I was able to see a man do what he liked, was good at, and
could make many others happy while smiling himself.
Be blessed my brother, I surely am right now…
Patrick Springs, VA
you will to imagine someone writing this to you - having something that
regularly bring these feelings from someone who doesn't know you. ... it
absolutely Awes Me ! God has blessed me with a talent that I have worked hard to
maximize but it still humbles me to receive something such as the letter above.
I take no credit for
the beauty of my bowls. God alone makes this beauty. I simply find it, and hopefully make the correct cuts in the making of the block that would become the bowl. Then I chip away keeping the desired finished shape in mind, and hopefully ending up with something pleasing to the eye that shows off the beauty that I pictured was
there within the tree to begin with..
just got a letter from a
recent KitchenStick buyer and I thought you may like to hear what he had to say
James - FYI , the KitchenStick works
well as a manual bread making machine. In my opinion, it does a better job
mixing dough than my Danish dough whisk. And, once the dough has come together,
I can continue to work the dough in the bowl - effectively kneading it without
actually getting my hands into it. That is something I have never been able to
do well with the whisk. ... Regards. jgm
Thanks John - I can always use a good word
from a satisfied customer ...
Anyone who knows me would tell you that
I don't do well sitting around doing nothing. The picture above shows my
latest artistic interest. I started using a walking stick many years ago anytime
I am walking on uneven ground, and even on all my walks while at the NC State
Fair. They add stability when trail walking or in my case "just walking thru the
woods with Katie" (my Granddaughter). I got interested in "Wood Spirits" when I
got to know Matt Wolfe - the son of Tom Wolfe who is one of the best known carvers
in the US. Matt gave me carving lessons every morning before the gates were
opened at the 2008 NC State Fair and I have tried to build on what he taught me.
Click on the picture to see more detail, and some browsers allow an extra click
for extreme zoom in..
The on-line part
started due to a dear friend that I love as a brother named
and his wife Tami
of Chapel Hill, NC - two die hard "CarolinaTarheel
fans (no not really), I say that when kidding "Duke" fans.
Their generosity helped me get this website started and I will always thank them
for it. I still love Tom as I do my own brothers.
In 2012 & 2013 I really got to know these guys and Love them all. Pictured
with me here is Larry Cordle, Jody King, Me, Don Rigsby and Mike Anglin. These
guys sound absolutely great together and you can see and feel the love that they
have for what they are doing in every performance. As soon as the Sunday night
performance was thru, Don had to catch a plane to New York as he was playing
Carnegie Hall Monday night with Alan Jackson and was also on the Dave Letterman
show Tuesday night. Great honors for a great musician. All of these guys
are among the best you'll find.
The KitchenStick website is
getting a bunch of hits - to see it click HERE
For those of you who have
bought a KitchenStick or received one as a
present ... write to me and tell me the way you use them and your thoughts
about them. I want to start a page on here to show others who may be
thinking about getting some how y'all feel about them. I know they're a great tool as I've been using one
since 2000 when I invented the first one - but hearing from others is always
Thank each and every one of you folks that
have visited my website over the years who feel that the bowls I make - or my
KitchenSticks are something of importance
to you. Y'all buy up every bowl that I can make and are always contacting me
wanting more, and recently the KitchenSticks continue to get some great reviews.
KitchenSticks are selling better as
folks are seeing just how useful they really are. I stand by them and will give
anyone who buys them their money back if they aren't completely satisfied with
the KitchenStick and the many uses each one offers. If you'll use one for cooking just 3 meals you'll be wanting one in
your hand every time you're in the kitchen. I make them all myself, going from
the solid log to the finished KitchenStick here in my little shop and
under the shelter beside the shop.
And as I have many times - I want
to one again thank Tom and Tami McGraw of Chapel Hill, NC for their friendship in the past
and for the faith that they
had in me several years ago. I've loved Tom
like a brother since the 80's and always will. Several years ago they sent me a check for $500 to buy whatever it would take to start-up
this website. He believed I could make it in to something. I knew NOTHING at all about website design, and I'm sure you can
easily tell by
looking at it today that I still ain't got a clue. I bought Windows Front-page
2003 and spent 2 weeks literally working from 3-3:30am till midnight and
sometimes later - trying to
learn how to build it - taking pictures of bowls and learning to use
photo editing programs. It was a long slow process but you folks made
it the #1 site on the internet for "handmade wooden bowls" for
many years. And I average
around 80,000 hits a month.
you all for all for your loyalty and for visiting my site as you do. ...JP
were the perfect
low priced Christmas Gift !!!
A bunch of folks said
that my KitchenSticks were
"the perfect Christmas gift for someone hard to buy for"
and they backed up their comments by buying them for their family, friends,
Sunday school class members and folks that they work with.
They definitely make cooking a meal easier and this was said to me time after
time as I dealt with folks wanting more of them for family and friends.