As a child, Kelly Roley spent her weekends in her grandfather's woodshop. Watching a stack of dusty boards transform into an heirloom was captivating and her love affair with wood began. After college, Kelly attended woodworking school and began a career in furniture making. It was always about the wood. The grain and texture. The anticipation in revealing what lay just beneath the surface.
After taking a few years off to start a family, Kelly was ready to jump back in. This time the focus was entirely on the the wood and what she could do with simple hand tools. “I carved my first spoon ten years ago. I love the entire process from finding the wood, to the axe and knife work, to the final waxing.” The idea of Billet+Blade came as a business name and a mindset. Billet is an old english word for a chunk of wood. What can be made with a few edge tools and a piece of wood? “I love the simplicity of carving. It has become a natural part of my day. I can sit and carve and have a conversation with my kids. I can make spoons by a campfire or at my kitchen table.”
The art of the simple and the handmade is experiencing a revival. In the age of technology and plastic, there is an increased desire for authenticity. “Using the same techniques, tools and materials that have been used for hundreds and thousands of years keeps me connected to the past and the world around me. The tradition of heritage craft needs to be preserved and passed on”.
Every billet+blade piece is handmade in Nashville, Tennessee. The wood is sourced locally from fallen or trimmed trees. Each piece is hand finished with a blend of Tennessee beeswax and raw linseed oil and made to last a lifetime.