Annie Beedy: West Coast All-Natural

You can’t pour from an empty cup. Right now, the world needs beauty.
— Annie Beedy

Annie Beedy never expected to be a woodworker. It’s near impossible to pin down the yoga-practicing permaculture maiden that Annie embodies. She’s a self-described “citizen of the West Coast,” highly connected to her natural surroundings and in tune with the ever shifting rain and sunshine. Although she has never had a fully formed routine, she begins (and ends) her day with meditation, allowing herself to fill up with inspiration before getting into the studio.

When we spoke, Annie was down in Los Angeles. After completing 300 hours of yoga training, she was relaxing back into her California roots. Even though I wasn’t watching her at work in the studio, I could imagine Annie at the saw, wafts of dust collecting on her clothes and hair, a halo of wood chips gathering around her feet. She finishes every piece by sanding it smooth with her eyes closed, relying on her sense of touch to make it perfect. 

I spent a lot of time alone outside. My whole spiritual and artistic foundation as a person are built upon nature.

Annie has spent 14 years as a photographer, beginning with film and shooting from the hip with a street style aesthetic. She captured portraits of musicians, authors, and other artists, filling her lens with creative souls. Over the years, photography became digital and less unpredictable. The industry became over-saturated and stifling. To Annie, updating equipment and dumping data was not time well spent. She set out for something more tactile and grounding. She found this in permaculture and gardening. During restless winter months, she turned to cooking. She loved to use wooden spoons and began to make her own. She collected wood, bought knives, fell in love. She found zen in the act of chipping away at walnut cutting boards, myrtle tea scoops, spoons with looped handles, and blue pine serving trays. It was a self-taught experiment that turned into a full-blown passion.

When I’m finished, I go set it amongst my natural treasures to see how it feels. Woodwork should be imperfect but naturally perfect.”

With her photography expertise, she began to document and share this work with the world online. Her community responded with immense enthusiasm. She never set out to sell her carvings, but like most things in her life, it happened naturally.

Lately, she hasn’t been carving things for the kitchen. She’s been making talisman, experimenting with wood burning and cedar. An earnest change that sprang from meaningful inspiration. “After the election, I began to wonder if making was important. But that feeling passed really quickly. Creating always has a place. And it manifested in these little helpers.” Response to her new line has been incredible, so she produced an army of her little talisman to help people feel protected in uncertain times. “We can’t let them rob of our unhappiness. If you deplete yourself, you won't have much left to give. You can’t pour from an empty cup,” Annie said. “Creating is a necessity in this time. The world needs beauty.”

It’s time to gather and practice self care together.

Join WeMake for our second workshop of 2017: Woodworking with Annie Beedy. 
Learn and be inspired by Annie’s kind spirit and skilful hands.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 6 from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at Tillamook Station.

Breakfast and caffeinated beverages will be provided. Participants will leave with a spoon, carving tools, and Annie’s handmade wood butter.