L. Lavone owner Michelle Donn knew there was only one company to approach about bringing her ideas for a beautiful grooming tote to life and that was Braly Woodwoorking. Braly is family owned and operated boutique, artisan wood
shop in California, run by husband and wife team of Hugh and Mary Braly. Braly has specialized in the art of fine woodworking for almost two decades. The company is dedicated to creating products of superior quality, beauty and longevity. And Michelle having worked with them in the past on tack trunks and other equestrian items knew that their work was flawless.
The collaboration started with a phone call to Mary and the exchange of a number of sketches between Hugh and Michelle so that they could work out ideas on the first two L. Lavone designs. Michelle is in love with all the beautiful herringbone inlays that are showing up everywhere in home furnishing right now. Michelle also wanted to use a corresponding color palette of dark and lighter browns that is traditional but without it being boring. Thus the idea for the Herringbone Ringside Tote was born. Hugh on the other hand wanted to show something softer and less traditional maybe even a little funky. He embraced the wild pattern of the quilted maple and paired it with exotic natural colored woods for his design of the Wave Ringside Tote.
As the totes took shape Michelle, Mary and Hugh were all excited to see just how wonderful they were going to be when complete. Hugh is truly an artist and Mary was quick to let Michelle know about the process for creating each tote:
“Though they may be following the same design, each tote will have its’ own character and personality because Hugh literally searches all our wood resources and personally hand selects only the best pieces. Grain, color, quilting will never be the same. Also as Hugh is crafting them, each piece gets its’ own personalized touch and attention. Sort of like raising children, each one is molded with love and affection.”
The wood selection and preparation process is very critical on the Herringbone tote. Hugh must source Zebrawood with strong and regular grain for the inlay. In addition to the Zebrawood, quartersawn Wenge that has fine pencil-thin, light lines interspersed with blackish brown stripes is used for font and back of the tote. Then the tangential surface of more Wenge which has light lines that show up as undulating streaks, like waves on the water, is employed for the ends of the L. Lavone Herringbone Grooming Tote.
The playful L. Lavone Wave Ringside Grooming Tote is a work of art in itself. Flatsawn North America Quilted Maple makes up the body of the tote it’s patchwork patterns resembles fabric quilts and make a beautiful background to showcase the bold waves on the tote. The South America Purpleheart that is used in the wave pattern is natural a striking purple color that with age will become a glorious eggplant shade. The orange Padauk from South Africa that makes the second wave on the tote will also darken with age to burnt umber. In selecting wood for this tote matching shades of the purple and orange from front to back and side to side was key so Hugh would have a cohesive design when assembled.
In addition to their beauty these totes are useable! They are large enough to carry necessities to the side of the show ring but not so heavy that they feel unwieldy for everyday use. The hard varnish that Braly applies will help protect the totes and will allow you to easily clean them with a damp cloth. L. Lavone ringside totes are a stylish item that really can be used and enjoyed to the fullest by every equestrian.
Order you tote here, if back ordered please allow approximately 8 weeks for Hugh to craft yours.