My name is Dirk and I have always loved working with wood as a hobby. After decades of working in the accounting field, at 55 years old, I was furloughed. Jobs were hard to come by so I took to doing what I loved in my home shop. I began making birdhouses and cutting boards. I evolved to game boards after receiving a call from a gentleman in Arizona who asked if I could make him some. He tried to describe them to me and then sent one up. I took a look and told him I could replicate that but I suggested he make the pattern bigger and use strips of wood glued together to stabilize the board to help prevent warping. He liked the idea and said "Send me 500." I just about fainted. And just like that, our home business was born. I've since made tens of thousands of game boards. We have many games in our inventory including age-old favorites such as Mancala, Mazes, Chess, Chinese Checkers, Aggravation and our perennial best seller, Marble Solitaire. Most of these games require marbles, none require batteries. My sweet wife and I began traveling and attending craft shows to display our work. The Internet was born and here we are still going strong. We still get out to craft shows and love seeing new and return customers and friends. It thrills us when someone calls or comes by that has purchased a board for themselves and put it to good use in the past and is now looking for unique gifts for friends, family, or employees. Seeing people enjoy our craft is heartwarming. We've grown a little bit over the years but not too much. We've enlisted the help of our grandchildren. Every one of our 23 grandchildren have spent time in the shop, cutting and sorting wood, loading marbles on finished boards, and packaging them up for shipment. The tradition continues with the next generation. Our 49 great-grandchildren now enjoy working with "Super Grandma and Grandpa".
We have gained many loyal customers who share their love for beautiful handcrafted woodwork. While playing the games with family and friends, you will be sure to create fond memories to cherish. Each board is a beautiful piece of furniture you will be proud to display.
Thank you for learning more about us
Dirk and Daryl Olsen
About the Process
We have a beautiful product and of the highest quality. All work is original and handmade and makes a stunning decoration on any coffee table.
Woods are hand selected, cut into various widths, hand glued together and set in a custom welded clamp designed by Dirk. We use strips of wood because it stabilizes the boards and prevents warping but also allows creative freedom and artistic play. All stripes and levels of contrast are different in each board. When dry, each board is planed and sanded then the game pattern is applied through CNC. No stains, paints or dyes of any kind are used. The woods are all their natural colors so the beauty of the species is on display. A clear furniture grade finish is used to protect the wood. This ensures beauty and a lifetime of enjoyment. We use classic, old fashioned designer marbles or beautiful, unique hand- molded ceramic marbles for playing pieces, shrink wrap each game board and include playing instructions for all our games. They will come to you ready as the perfect gift for yourself or a loved one. Our purpose is to bring back the nostalgia of good family entertainment. Besides being fun to play, the games require concentration and actual thinking in making your moves. The goal of all the work is to create art that can be seen, touched and enjoyed in everyday life.
These timeless, heritage game boards are each designed and handcrafted by Dirk.