The Holland Bowl Mill is a fourth-generation family-owned company located in Holland, Michigan. Kory Gier and his father own Holland Bowl Mill and are known as the largest solid wood bowl artisans in the world. Prior to purchasing the business, the family ran a Holland Wooden Shoe company. The company has been in business for over 100 years and the family goal is to maintain this unique bowl-making process for generations to come.

The Holland Bowl Mill creates nestled bowls from a single 2-foot section of a tree log. It is fascinating to see how three to four bowls are carved by the skilled craftsman.

First, the logs are pressure washed prior to being cut into 2-foot sections. The sections are then scored to see if the log will become a bowl or another product made by Holland Bowl Mill. Only the best logs become bowls.    

Next the log moves to the lathe to be scooped from the log starting with the largest size bowl to the smallest. It is hard to believe how a bowl comes from the log. This process starts by cutting the largest bowl from the log, and then the next size until there is only a small chunk of wood left from the original piece of wood. Then the bowls are ready for the next part, which is the curing phase. 

The bowls are steamed for four hours and are placed on racks to dry. Depending on the wood, the drying process could take 2 to 4 weeks. The Dresden & Company bowls are made of beech wood and this wood takes the longest to dry or cure. It is important to ensure the wood is completely dry before sanding, engraving and staining. 

Once the bowls are dried, the first quality assurance check is performed. If the bowl passes the check it then moves to the sanding room. The inside and outside of the bowl are precisely sanded for the smooth finish. 

Next is the dipping station where the bowl is dipped into a food grade Bee Oil. It then goes to have the Dresden & Company Ash Gray color added to the outside of the bowl and finally it is engraved with the Dresden & Company name on the bottom. The Ash Gray outside color is exclusive to Dresden & Company. A final quality assurance check is completed before the bowl leaves for Dresden, Ohio.

These bowls are hand crafted and the process takes many hands to complete the making of one bowl over 4 weeks. These artisans take great pride in each product that they make. These bowls are carved from one solid piece of wood, which makes them incredibly sturdy and are made to last for many generations to come.

The Holland Bowl Mill ensures that no piece of the log is wasted. The logs with imperfections become other handmade products for indoors and outdoors. The shavings from the process go for bedding of animals. The final scrap wood becomes firewood. Holland company prides itself on sustainability and helping the environment. They also buy logs from tree removal companies and from companies that raise trees for woodworking and lumber.

To care for your Dresden & Company beech wood bowl: It may be washed 5 to 6 times and then the Holland Bowl Mill recommends that Bee Oil be rubbed inside and outside to prevent cracking.

Click the link below to watch a video of this bowl-making process.