Project Carve - Andrew Brooks


The Forest City Cookbook journey led us not only to great chefs and farmers, but also to talented and dedicated artisans like Andrew Brooks from Project Carve. Cooking is not only about ingredients, it's about handcrafted plates, cutting boards, coasters, glassware, decorations, handmade knifes, aprons, and much more. 

As part of the creation of the cookbook, we also partnered with dedicated artisans that took the courage to follow their passion. We all know it is not easy, especially for the first years after launching a new venture, but that is not stopping Andrew from pursuing his dreams. 

Engineer by day and engraving artisan by night, Andrew started working with wood to create items to support his wife Katie's gift box business and he soon realized that he truly enjoyed it, so in 2016 he took the leap of faith and created a woodworking studio. Andrew began engraving the handcrafted wooden products he made, to provide a memorable and fully customizable gift for Giftii customers. Interest in the engraving grew, and Andrew decided to create a separate venture for the woodworking – thus, Project Carve was born.

It all sounds very simple, but the reality is that it all came with plenty of sacrifices, starting with the cost of the woodworking equipment and the time apart from the family. 

Right after Andrew finishes his work day at his full-time day job, the woodworking begins, often times until late at night. It gets difficult to juggle so many things at the same time, but the satisfaction from happy customers and the excitement of watching his brand grow are worth the sacrifice. 

Andrew specializes in CNC Routing and Laser cutting, and he is the mastermind who crafted a set of gorgeous cutting boards for some our cookbook supporters. The magic behind each cutting board he makes goes like this: First, Andrew locally sources large pieces of walnut, he lets them dry and cut them in smaller cutting-board-size pieces. He removes the bark for food safety and a smooth finish, then he proceeds to sands each piece one by one, filling the cracks and natural holes with epoxy and lets it dry to seal the wood. Then, each board is sanded again before Andrew engraves them. In order to engrave, he sets up the logo on the Laser machine's software, adjusting the speed and intensity of the laser and allows the magic to happen. Lastly, he does another general check of each board to make sure there are no other cracks that have been missed, oils each board and prepares them for delivery!

It's incredible the amount of work and attention to detail in every board, clearly showing why handmade is always more special than mass-produced!!  

The future of Project Carve includes not only custom work for adventurous customers who want to surprise someone special, but also ready-made products and designs created by Andrew. The possibilities are endless with determination, creativity, passion and commitment, qualities that both Andrew and his wife Katie clearly have. 

If you ever need a special gift for someone you love, reach out, Project Carve and Giftii will be glad to help!! / 519-476-5511 / Instagram: @projectcarve / Facebook: @projectcarve