With the Grain

I love what I call trompe l’oeil (for lack of a better term) items. Ceramic dishes masquerading as paper plates, glass water bottles disguised as plastic, the porcelain floor tiles that imitate hardwood on the bathroom floor in my house–all of these items capture my imagination, celebrating the often insignificant objects they imitate.

Perhaps my attraction to “trick the eye” pieces is related to my love of faux-bois. French for “false wood,” faux-bois is one of my favorite prints, and since woodgrain often has a touch of holiday charm (think wrapping papers and Buche de Noel cakes), it seemed like the perfect theme to feature the day before Thanksgiving. Although faux-bois regularly appears on holiday items (see the yule log below), I love it year round: it’s one of those rare season-less motifs, appropriate from January to June and straight back to December.

1. Freespirit Fabrics’ Aviary 2 in Dill Woodgrain from Purl Soho
2. Faux Bois Wrapping Paper from Paper Source
3. Tree of Life Print by Degree
4. Wood-Slices Dinnerware by David Stark for West Elm
5. Amy Moore Woodgrain Ring from Schatzelein Austin
6. Branches Wall Decal by Amy Ruppel for Blik
7. Letterpress Yule Log by Dsharp

There are plenty of ways to DIY a faux-bois print. Rockers are available at hardware stores and will pull liquid (like paint or chocolate) into a faux-bois pattern; silicone mats are available to press into ceramics and candy; and if simplicity appeals to you, it’s not that hard to draw your own faux-bois pattern with some abstract lines and ovals. For sewers, I’ve also seen some great blankets and placemats with a faux-bois pattern created through quilting.

The faux-bois imprinted maple candy pictured is, unfortunately, both addictive and easy to make (wouldn’t we all be so much healthier if baking fantastic cookies required incredible amounts of skill?). Just get a silicone wood grain mat (I found mine at a clay store) and a bottle of maple syrup. You’ll also need a pan (to put the finished candy in), a small or medium pot, and a good candy thermometer (believe me–the thermometer is key here, more so than the maple syrup),  for this. Pour the maple syrup into your pot and bring it to a boil (you’ll want to add a very small amount of butter to prevent foam). When your candy gets to 240 degrees Fahrenheit (check often), turn off the heat and let cool undisturbed to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, stir your candy(I recommend a stand mixer) until it becomes creamy. Working quickly, pour the creamy maple candy into your pan and press the faux bois mat on top to leave indentations. Enjoy! (And then go brush your teeth.)

Woodgrain Maple Candy

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Comments
One Response to “With the Grain”
  1. heather b says:

    HUGE fan of faux-bois!

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