Oyster River Joinery

American Made Since 2012

Paul Sampson

Warren, Maine
Handcrafted wood oyster platters are a perfect way to showcase oysters on the half shell. The texture, indents and shape echos an oyster shell.
Design, Furniture & Home Accessories

Tell us about your business.

I love oysters and woodworking. After years working in the woods, woodworking and enjoying oysters on the half shell, I saw in a piece of scrap from another project, an oyster platter. I immediately carved a very rough platter. I do not like resting my oysters on ice or salt, it is so wasteful. The carved wood platter finished with a beeswax paste held up well after repeated use to the briny, rough oyster shells. Since my first platter, I have refined the shape and indents to resemble oyster shells. I added a cord so the platter can be hung on the wall. The platters are too beautiful to store away. I hand craft one at a time, carefully selecting grain and pattern to compliment the oyster. I have carefully sourced and selectively harvested trees off my land to carve into oyster platters. My wife is a beekeeper now developing our own beeswax paste to apply to platters. I want to offer wood oyster platters sourced from sustainable and local materials. I am very close.

Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.

I source most of the wood from local forests. My wife is keeping bees to make the wax paste. I am designing my own studio/barn. Currently I lease space from a local family in the woodworking business.

What inspires you?

oysters, the woods and creating with my hands. When not working in my studio, you will find me in the woods or on the sea. I feel so at home. When my children were small, I encouraged them to explore the ocean and forests. We played games identify tree species. We learned to dig for clams, forage for mussels and eat oysters. It was important to me that they understand and appreciate the beauty and bounty in the natural world. I started carving oyster platters to share this love with friends and family. There is nothing more appealing than a shucked oyster on a lovely natural wooden platter.

What makes your business stand out?

My love of nature, my knowledge and passion for wood. I love the forest so much, I would never jeopardize the well being of the woods for my future. I will only craft a product using sustainable woods and waxes. I have developed a product which reduces waste of other natural materials, water and salt. I make each platter individually; therefore, they all differ slightly. My wooden oyster platters compliment another natural product, oysters.

What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?

Follow your passion. Never give up. You are never to old to start a new business.

What does American Made mean to you?

local, well made and small batch. Accessibility to the craft person/s and the story.

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