The Merchant's Table

Oak Tea Ceremony Collection - Alex Walshaw


Alex Walshaw’s response to our midsummer exhibition, Ritual. Alex honours a stag head oak and creates a tea ceremony collection to mark the summer solstice. 

The tea dish to hold gathered and dried elderflower; the spoon to scoop and stir the fragrant flowers; the pouring bowl to pour water into the bowl from which to drink the summer tea, hot or cooled, with ice perhaps.

Each piece in the tea collection is hand carved from relic oak, gathered from a ditch beneath the living tree from which it fell.

Stag head oak stays attached to the living oak for decades, weathering many seasons, becoming hard and dry, this piece is more susceptible to being blown down, landing like Excalibur into the rich dark ditch mud.

“Whilst carving these pieces after washing away all mud and grief, the muddy smell kept transporting me to spinning in rivers and ponds as a child, Saltfleet Creeks came to mind a lot”.

These pieces are carved from the submerged part and being in the mud for sometime the wood has reacted with it, giving a wonderful patina.

Hand carved tea serving dish from wind fallen oak.

Hand carved spoon from foraged oak.

Fallen relic oak pouring bowl, hand carved.

Hand carved bowl from foraged oak.

Alex Walshaw works in harmony with his material and creates pieces which follow the form of the wood he finds.

Alex is a woodsman who works with only naturally fallen and reclaimed woods. The traces of the wood’s history, through its weathered and marked surfaces and grain, is respected in the sculputral forms Alex creates. His sensitivity for ecology is reflected in the fact he is never takes too much fallen wood, leaving the rich habitat for many species and thus continuing the cycle.

Alex’s practice is totally embedded within nature. His natural surroundings are the source of his materials, his inspiration, and also act as his workplace, throughout every season. He shapes wood with simple hand tools, which have long been used for carving, such as axes, knives and adzs.

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Once your online transaction has been completed your order will be confirmed by email within 24 hours. If your order is placed on a Friday, or over the weekend, your item will be shipped within 3 days from the Monday.

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We do ship outside of the UK and are delighted to do so, but we ask you to email,, so we may give you an accurate shipping cost to your destination.

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We recommend contacting your local customs office for current charges before you order, so you are not surprised by charges you were not expecting.

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If you are unhappy with our products in any way, they can be returned provided they are in saleable condition.

If you wish to return your item and receive a full refund items need to posted/couriered back to us within 7 days of being received by you.

Please note refunds to Debit/Credit Cards normally clear in 1/2 days after receipt of the returned goods.

Returns received outside the above time frame will not be accepted. For all returns you will be required to arrange and pay for the return of the products to us.

We will only accept returns provided the goods are received by us in the condition they were in when delivered to you.


Please returns items to: 

The Merchant’s Table
10 Church Street
Suffolk IP12 1DH

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In the market town of WOODBRIDGE, SUFFOLK, on CHURCH STREET is a double fronted Georgian shop, fronting a 16th Century merchant’s house. Within this beautiful building, layered with merchant’s tales and trading, we opened The Merchant’s Table.

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