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Our Story

Driven by their connection to nature, John and Eileen are inspired to showcase the inherent beauty in nature through their craftsmanship. In sharing their creations with the world, their ultimate goal is to “find good homes for our bowls.”

John Herrling discovered his passion for woodworking in 1999 after retiring from a career in Law Enforcement in Kirkland, Washington and moving with Eileen and their rescued pets to Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula. While John led the woodturning process, Eileen assumed the role of finishing their bowls with beeswax and preparing them to be sold to the public. In the spring of 2018, they formally began their woodworking business and called it Misty Hollow Woods, an homage to their forested home in the rain-drenched Pacific Northwest.

John and Eileen place a strong emphasis on recycling—a practice they’ve learned from the trees themselves. They source their wood from downed, dead, or damaged trees from people in their community. Sometimes those trees hold sentimental value. Their recycling efforts transform wood that would likely be used for firewood or left to rot into functional art, and memories of special trees into keepsakes.

Throughout the woodworking process, John and Eileen commit to honoring the life of the tree and the unique character of its wood. With each bowl they shape, their artistry and woodworking precision enables them to preserve the natural quality of the wood, especially its distinguishing features that other artists may try to mask or remove. This means that each and every bowl is like a fingerprint of the tree from which it came.

John Herrling woodturning bowls in Washington State
Eileen Herrling, of Misty Hollow Woods, polishing woodturned bowl with beeswax
Woodturning Bowls from Artisans in Washington Statee
Polishing woodturned bowls from artisans in Washington State

Eileen uses a locally made beeswax finish to coat, polish, and protect the wood, which gives each piece a silky-like feel, emphasizes the woodgrain details, and is completely food safe. Some of their pieces are functional, while others are decorative, but most are both.


Eileen Herrling, of Misty Hollow Woods, polishing woodturned bowl with beeswax
Woodturning Bowls from Artisans in Washington State

John embraces what others may call “defects.” Like wrinkles on a person’s face, each characteristic—a bark inclusion, a knot, insect marks, and spalting, the irregular grain patterns of fungal decay—tells the life story of that particular piece of wood. John uses those features to help shape what the wood becomes. He ends by finely sanding the piece, starting with 40 grit sandpaper and ending with 1,000 grit.


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