Garden & Gun Magazine Made in the South 2023 Winner - Home Category


We handcraft each wood bowl from a single piece of rare, visually intriguing wood from a fallen tree. Each bowl is shaped to highlight the unique aspects of the wood and hand finished using a 12 step process to accentuate the beauty of the natural grain. These one of a kind bowls are made in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia. We make each piece an heirloom to delight generations. All are food safe.

The Story of Talking Wood Studio

Talking Wood Studio is the culmination of my lifelong passion for trees, wood, and woodworking.  The desire to live in the serenity of the forest and pursue a woodworking business, led my wife, Olivia and I to move to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in north Georgia, and open Talking Wood Studio in the Spring of 2020.

Olivia and I search for unique, beautiful pieces of wood, to handcraft into a one of a kind, spectacular bowl. We look for highly figured wood, with stunning grain, color and spalting. Some patterns of the wood are highly intricate or chatoyant, providing a reflective, holographic effect. While others are swirls and gradations that highlight a unique and pleasing grain. As a passionate woodworker, I search for nature’s art on the forest floor. Each piece of wood I choose is undiscovered art, until I craft it into a piece that will delight the eye for generations.

Why Talking Wood when wood does not talk?  In a conventional sense that is true, wood does not talk. However, it does communicate if you are open to its message.  Wood communicates by its changing visual appearance and the different sounds it makes while it is shaped and sanded.  I see my mission is to shape and finish nature’s beauty.   I craft each piece to reveal and enhance its individual characteristics.  I begin with a general idea and change it as the wood is exposed.  During the journey, I fashion the wood to highlight what is pleasing to the eye and touch, fully enhancing its natural beauty.  At Talking Wood Studio, we love the journey we have with each bowl.

We feel bowls and trays are the absolute best way to appreciate the forest’s art.  The art we reveal at Talking Wood Studio is created by nature deep in the forest under the bark of a magnificent tree.  When the tree’s time has passed, and it falls to the forest floor, nature continues its work by changing the color and texture as the forest absorbs and recycles the tree.  We spend a lot of time looking for these “diamonds in the rough”.

The bowl or tray  is a simple shape that highlights all possibilities that a unique piece of wood has to offer.  Aesthetically it fully emphasizes the grain pattern from all angles.  We love following the natural art of the grain pattern, curves and changes in direction that the shape of the piece presents.

We hope you love the beautiful pieces I create, as it pays homage to our love of wood, trees, and nature.  I am passionate about creating heirloom pieces to be enjoyed by generations to come.

Ben Balzer, Founder and Artisan, Talking Wood Studio