SCRIPPS RANCH
FAMILY FUN
Bob Brassard's high-quality wooden creations are on display at the Scripps Ranch Farmer's Market. (photos by John Gregory)
Hand-crafted wooden treasures
By John Gregory

Among the highly-creative items displayed and sold at the weekly Scripps Ranch Farmer's Market is a collection of incredible wooden pieces carved, drilled and finished by Bob Brassard, a true master craftsman.

His creations are personally formed from the great and exotic woods discarded from the world's forests. Once part of a living tree, they are brought back to life through Brassard's skill.

Bob Brassard crafts and sells incredibly perfect items made of wood at the Scripps Ranch Farmer's Market.

His collection includes finely crafted and finished wooden bowls, dinner plates, urns and some fantastic wooden containers that will make great conversation pieces on anyone's coffee table, desk or dining table.

"I hope people will come down and pick it up and feel it," he said. "That's the whole experience. All of these projects are meant to be held."

One large piece looks like it's made of marble, but it's actually made of olive wood that has been expertly cut and polished. Brassard used a high-speed friction polish to create the finish.

Another detailed piece was made from ironwood. Brassard said it took him about 1 1/2 hours of work to create it, but the piece looks like it would have taken about three days of work.

"It's hard as a rock," he said. "This (ironwood) is a product that will dull your tools in no time at all."

Brassard said he started working in wood in high school while taking a shop class around 1972. Now retired, he works on his creations from his home, turning the wood on a lathe. He calls his small business Brassard Turnings because nearly everything he makes is round.

"It's a real passion," he said. "I started in high school and really haven't stopped since then. I've owned a number of lathes and the fun never stops. I just turn from morning until night and I never get tired of it."

These finely-designed and finished wooden pens would make a highly-valued gift for any executive or graduate.


A lot of the woods he uses are discarded exotic pieces he gets from San Diego Urban Timber, a company that makes furniture. The company recycles trees that have fallen and lets him have the pieces that would have normally been placed in a landfill.

One of Brassard's favorite pieces is a small, beautiful creation that resembles a tiny urn. He made it from cocobolo wood from South America, and lined it with bubinga, which is commonly used in making drums. The shiny bottom inside is made of hardened resin.

"This is just like a fantasy box … even though it's round," he said.

The piece can be used for placing rings, jewelry or keys inside.

One of Brassard's small wooden plates sells for $35. A large farm house bowl for fruit or vegetables sells for $150.  

This holiday season Brassard is selling a selection of unfinished containers and carvings made of jacaranda. The wood on these is light in color and can be painted by the buyer. Paint the outside "and send me a picture of what it looks like after it's done," he said.

One of the highlights is a display of pens made out of polished, finished wood. Priced at $50 each, these would feel good in anyone's hands. Brassard said he uses a kit made of metal parts to add to the drilled pen bodies. The mechanisms include the writing point and cartridge. The cartridge is easily replaceable, he said.

"This pen should last somebody a lifetime," Brassard said. "I really don't think there's anything that could go wrong with it."

Contact Brassard at bbrass@cox.net.

The Scripps Ranch Farmer's Market is open for shoppers from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every single Saturday at 10380 Spring Canyon Road, in the Innovations Academy parking lot. Visit srfm.org.