|PRODUCER OF THE MONTH: Laury Greening|
If you ask her how long it takes to make one of her cutting boards (or presentation boards, as she thinks of them), Laury Greening might tell you it took 57 years. That’s how she sees it: Laury’s beautiful hand-made kitchen objects are the manifestations of a journey she’s been on since day one.
In her early twenties, Laury was living in New York City when her best friend died unexpectedly. Jolted awake by this sudden close encounter with mortality, she quit her job and took some carpentry classes. “Putting on that tool belt for the first time felt almost like a political act,” she told me, a statement of power and authority that terrified and thrilled her at the same time. She ended up asking her teacher for a job, and moving to upstate New York to begin life as a full-time carpenter.
Years later, after another “Aha!” moment occurred while working atop a roof and nearly injuring herself, she moved to western Massachusetts, getting a job as a salesperson at a large millwork distributor of windows and doors. “A big-girl job with a big-girl salary,” as she put it. “I hated it.” Eight years later, a double dose of tragedy and a single shot of earth-shattering romance precipitated another change: her mother died, she was diagnosed with a serious illness, and she fell in love. After being successfully treated for her illness, she quit her job, and she and her partner Donna headed north to Brattleboro.
The wood used to make the cutting boards she sells at the Co-op is all domestic, and purchased just down the road in Guilford, VT. Right now she's most excited about her new live-edge cutting boards, which show off not only the grain but the naturally beautiful shape of each piece of wood. She has an extraordinary eye for detail and no tolerance for imperfections; Laury brings out the unique beauty of each piece so magnificently that you could hang them on the wall like paintings. And seeing this potential in every scrap, she makes ornaments and wall hangings from the pieces leftover from other projects—she does her best to ensure nothing goes to waste.
Laury has peddled her wares at the Brattleboro Farmers' Market and other local craft shows, however selling her creations seems to be her lowest priority. The most important thing is to maintain a spirit of playfulness and delight. “I've made it. I don't care anymore. I just want to do what I love doing,” she says.
Happily for us, one of the things Laury loves doing is working at the Co-op! In her words, being a cashier at the BFC “isn't a big-girl job, but I love working here.”
Find Laury’s cutting boards, wall hangings, and ornaments in the Housewares sections at the Co-op.
Come meet Laury Greening at the Co-op on Saturday, Dec. 17th from 3-5!