Summer is the season for platters. Cheese, charcuterie – even DIY pavlova platters, if you believe the online articles about what’s trending. But forget about what goes on these grazing boards: what about the boards themselves? If you need some beautifully unique serving ware in your life this summer, you can’t go past a gorgeous wood burnt piece by Madams Handmade.
Maddison Adams is the face behind Madams. Having recently completed a Bachelor of Visual Communication Design, the 22-year-old creates her range of handcrafted serving boards alongside her work as a freelance graphic designer. Maddison has been an arty type for as long as she can remember: “I have always had a love and passion for creating,” she explains. “I always had drawing materials with me wherever I went from when I was a small child, and if I was at home I would be sewing. I just loved being creative.”
In fact, Maddison was such a prolific young creative that she had her first market stall at the tender age of twelve, selling handmade children’s clothing and accessories. She kept drawing, too, creating mandala patterns that she eventually started selling as prints – but this approach never felt quite right. And that’s where the idea of pyrography (woodburning) came into play.
“I wanted to take my drawings that used to only exist on paper and turn them into something permanent that could be used in everyday life,” Maddison explains. “I bought my first woodburner from Bunnings and just started practising on scrap pieces of wood. You could say I fell in love with woodburning very quickly! I have created everything from phone cases to wooden spoons, serving boards and even leather key rings.”
Woodburning is a slower, more complicated process than drawing on paper. It requires patience, precision and the steadiest of hands to ensure patterns are burned clearly and evenly into the wood. Maddison creates every piece entirely freehand: “I simply turn on my machine, pick up the pen and start drawing. I just zone out and begin creating mandala patterns,” she explains. “This is what makes my serving ware so special – no two boards will ever be identical. It also gives me the freedom to add names and small messages to my pieces to create really unique gifts that can be cherished for years to come.”
And cherished they are. Every Madams Handmade creation is a piece of functional art, ready to be used in everyday life. As well as serving boards in an array of sizes, shapes and designs, Maddison creates trays, mini folding picnic tables and more – all of which can be customised with a personal message, name or date. “It is so exciting when people tag me in their posts and I get to see how they have used my serving ware,” Maddison says. “My art has been shared in so many special moments in life and it makes me smile every time I see it, from birthday parties and family gatherings to engagement parties and weddings.”
So what’s in store for Madams in 2020? Well, with Maddison having finished her studies, she’ll be sinking all her time into creating products and growing the business. “I currently have two new designs in the works, which will be released really soon – so keep your eyes peeled!” she reveals. “I am so excited to see where this year takes me. I feel incredibly lucky to do what I love every day.”
Check out Maddison’s stunning serving ware online at facebook.com/madams.handmade and on Instagram: @madams_handmade. And if you fancy perusing the Madams product range in person, head to an upcoming Olive Tree Market (February 1 or March 7 at Civic Park, Newcastle) or visit The Birdcage in Hunter Street Mall.