Unique Woodworking At Its Best

Unique Wppdworking at it's Best/JillAlexa.com

Unique Woodworking At Its Best

Common Ground

It would not be an exaggeration to say that Ted is one of the most inspiring and admirable entrepreneurs I have met in a long time.

Upon walking into Ted and Margaret’s home, one cannot but be struck at the #uniquewoodworkingatitsbest. Their lovely home is filled with beautiful and unique pieces of furniture, all made by Ted.

Not only inside, but beautiful and functional items he has made for the outdoors too.

It was my joy to meet this lovely couple a number of years ago through a friend. She knew I was looking for a worm farm and knew that Ted made great ones. I bought one and ended up with amazing worm compost for my garden.

Through this meeting, we realized how much we have in common.

Besides our love of gardening, we all grew up in Zimbabwe and found many things for us to chat about. Not in my wildest dreams did I realize what a very special and talented person Ted is.

Great ideas for Gifts


It was no surprise when I visited my friend Val and saw this wonderfully helpful gadget for keeping the wool from getting tangled, to hear that Ted had made it for her.

So often when knitting I have been frustrated with the wool getting tangled, especially when knitting both sleeves at the same time. Or when making beanies with various colored wool.

I was so impressed by this and ordered one from Ted to take as a gift for my friend in Port Alfred.

It was so good to see how thrilled she was with this Unique Woodworking At Its Best gift, although she has put it to a different use, which I thought ingenious.

She and I are both keen machine embroiderers and it is always a nuisance having the large reels of thread falling over behind the machine when working.  No trouble to Ronwyn, she used the two pieces of this holder to stand her thread on.

It works like a charm and I shall now order one for myself in order to do the same.

The Bird Water Feeder#unique,bird,water,feeder

The water feeder featured here is one of many made by Ted and I simply fell in love with it.

Ted’s design is so clever as while the birds drink the water the bowl is filled with clean water stored in the bottle.

What a pleasure for me to have this on my balcony so that I may watch the little birds drinking.

It is extremely hot and dry here in the Western Cape now and I feel sure that the birds are really grateful to get some fresh, cool water to drink.

Having the pattern on the wine bottle adds to the attractiveness of the feeder.

Do not think the birds’ mind if it is patterned or not, however, I find it very pleasing.

I feel sure you will agree with me, what a great and unusual gift idea this is.

Rosewood Wine “Glasses”

More unusual items are the really lovely wine and sherry “glasses” made of rosewood. They are absolutely stunning and although they have been in use for a number of years, they look absolutely new.
Using Rose Wood was brilliant as the color is perfect for wine and sherry.

All the furniture in the picture below has been made by Ted in the factory he built in Zimbabwe. What I found astonishing was that when he bought the ground for the factory, there was a shed on the site which held really old steam-driven machinery, which Ted converted to driven by electricity. No mean feat, to be sure.Unique Woodworking At Its Best-Unique-wineglasses-in-rosewood

This lovely home is filled with furniture that Ted designed and was made in his factory. I am not sure that many people could make a similar claim.

Having had the pleasure and privilege of interviewing Ted about the way in which he began woodworking, it amazed me to find out that he had not done anything like this before and is completely self-taught.

Unique Woodworking At Its Best, what an accomplishment.

Gracing the Dining Area


What a joy it was to see the beautiful carving of the animals on the surface of the dining room tab table. The amount of work gone into the design and making of these pieces is definitely Unique Woodworking At Its Best, and, must be seen to be believed.

The timber itself is a stunning “canvas” on which to work.

The Bedroom Suite


The bedroom suite is so beautifully carved, which gives it the extra edge. A lot of great craftsmanship went into making it.

They also have a carved plaque on the wall which complements the bedroom suite.








Thankful for This Opportunity

It is with great thanks to Margaret and Ted for allowing me to interview them for this post. There was so much to see and hear and notes to write.

To make quite sure I had it all correct, I returned for a second visit.

We chatted so long and I am sure I must have overstayed my welcome but being the gracious couple they are, nothing was said.

When interviewing people for a post, I do wish that you are all as fortunate as I am and come to know the fantastic talent that sometimes lies buried in a person as humble as Ted is. He is one of the most inspirational entrepreneurs I have ever met.

What I saw in that home was indeed #uniquewoodworkingatitsbest.

Read more about Ted’s amazing woodwork here https://jillalexa.com/artistic-design-in-wood

Jill Alexa

Jill of all Trades. Master of Many. Too busy to die.


  1. This is a lovely post and its commendable. I dont really km ow much about woodworking but i have learnt alot from your page today. The picture shared on the post are worthwhile, cant be compared to some other woodworks i have seen. How do we get the materials used in other to try woodworking at home?

    • Hello Ola, Thank you for the great comments on this Post. It is not always easy to come upon the right wood for carpentry but I do know that one can work Jacaranda wood right after cutting it. There must be many woodworking courses, even online, perhaps.

      Wood is such a valuable resource and so it must be selected and bought with care.

  2. This is really a fantastic talent !

    It is awesome; Another incredible and eye fascinating article. I must commend you again for this lovely blog post. I just so happy to have stumbled on Ted related article again. His skills in woodworks are just so wonderful and second to none, I have been following your post quite a while now and i can say Teds artworks with woods are just so amazing.

    • Hi Michael, You are so kind to follow my posts and also for the lovely things you say. I really enjoyed working with Ted on this post and there will be another in the offing. 

  3. This is a very very inspiring post with uplifting and mind blowing content. This Mr Ted reminds me a lot about my Dad, a  true master at anything he wants to do, and a legend in anything he specializes in. This post just serves as an encouragement to everyone in life, to be able to translate your work to something tangible and solid that everyone can see. Big ups to Ted. Cheers.

    • Big Ups, indeed, Oneal. What a dedicated and talented person Ted is. It gave me great pleasure to interview him and write about his wonderful achievements.

  4. What an amazing talent !I must commend you for reviewing this. This is incredible and eye fascinating one. I am a fan of Teds works and so happy to to read through his works again here, thanks for sharing. I enjoy the way he exercises his senses of professionalism on his wood work. You are so amazing i must confess. 

    • Hi Michael, Ted is a real inspiration to me and I am sure to many out there, who have known him over the years and know of the challenges he faced and overcame. What an incredible person and talent.

      Thank you for reading my post and also the really great comments.

  5. Hi Jill! This is really impressive. What an inspiration. Ted is really a very creative artist.

    I liked very much the carved plaque in the bedroom. And the bird water Fraser was an excellent idea.

    I really enjoy these post you make were we get to know somebody very talented. We get to know the person and their work! Thank you very much for this great post.

    • Hi Henry, Wow! Thank you for the great comments on my post. It was an inspiration to me to interview Ted and to write about his wonderful talent and also the hard work that went into building his factory. How many of us would just have given up?

  6. Hello Jill.

    An inspiring article. Ted is an amazing woodcutter. The beauty and diversity in which you described his work is astonishing. Few people like that exist that can make the most beautiful and useful things out of wood. I’m sure it was an absolute pleasure for you meeting people like Ted and Margaret. Your writing is also great, you made love Ted work and showcased his talent.

    • Hello Aweda, Thank you for reading my post and also for the great comments. It was such a pleasure for me to showcase Ted’s amazing work and to acknowledge Ted and Margaret for their kind hospitality and time.

  7. The wood working is really awesome and looks original. The can last for several years without getting tarnished at all. There is a lot of treasures and joy in having a good woodwork for yourself. I almost bought one from a friend who produces a great woodwork.I later changed my mind simply because of other budgets but I will still buy it. 

    • Hi Kenneth, Great workmanship is always worth buying as it lasts forever. Thank you for the great comments.

  8. Hi Jill,

    It takes not skill to identify that you are a very artsy person and that everything that has to do with art is something that thrills you.  

    You remind me so much of a dear friend and her mom who are just like you.  They make marvelous things out of everything and see value in even the smallest things.

    I have never been really artistic, except when it comes to music.  But I see how you value what you saw at the uniquewoodworking and it is stunning when you tell us how you feel about what you see and exactly what you see in all those pieces.

    Keep it up,


    • Thank you so much, Oscar. I really appreciate you reading my post and the great comments. It is such a thrill to meet someone as talented as Ted Mirtle, one can’t but help to write about his journey.

  9. Your article left me wanting for much more.  Who are Ted and Margaret?  No last names?  I couldn’t find any information on how to purchase these beautiful pieces.  I especially loved the bird feeder with the bottle, so pretty.  Do they sell their pieces?  I would be very interested in getting more information, or do they not sell and this is just an informational article?

    • Hi Babsie, Am so sorry I did not put Ted’s surname into the post. His surname is Mirtle. This is the second post I have written about this remarkable man. He does sell the bird feeders and the woodwinders. The large pieces of furniture are no longer available.

      Please private message me for more details on jillalexa.com

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