If we’re not doing what we love, what is the point? If we don’t live in a place that makes us feel alive, should we stay? If we don’t believe in who we’ve become, should we change? If we are in conflict with our own choices, it might be time to reinvent.
I throughly believe in what, where and how I do what I do. I take pride in every part of the process. With each piece I begin, I am committed to building a product which I expect to be around for generations. I don’t cut corners. If I make a mistake, I fix it. If I’m unsure of the outcome of a design, I’ll experiment first with scrap materials so the final product functions as it should, looks right and can stand up to abuse. What I do is a slow process. It takes time. It takes patience.
I have been asked, on many occasions, if I am green or use reclaimed materials. My answer is this: ‘Green’ is long lasting. ‘Green’ is passed down from one generation to another. ‘Green’ is using materials wisely. ‘Green’ is building in a way which will stand up to abuse. ‘Green’ is building for the occasion. For example, when we buy veneered plywood, the thickness of the actual wood veneer is 1/40″ to 1/90″ thick. A dime is about 1/16″ thick. How many times do you think you can kick a cabinet corner with veneers that thin and still find the appearance of that cabinet acceptable? Standard veneers do have a place, however. They belong in low traffic areas, which aren’t vulnerable to abuse. Veneers are a wonderfully efficient way to use precious woods, but not if they have a short life expectancy. To remedy this, I prefer to saw my own veneers, 1/8″- 3/16″ thick. 1/8″ – 3/16″ is more durable and much easier to repair/refinish should damage occur. This concept is similar to hard wood floors. ‘Engineered’ floors have a thin veneer and a plywood substrate. Traditional floors are 3/4″ thick, solid wood. One can be refinished for two centuries, one can’t.
At present, I source 50% of my materials from trees I find. Storms bring trees down. Utility companies demand their removal. Trees out grow their space and turn houses into vulnerable structures. Part of my business is finding these trees and giving them new life. In time, I expect 100% of my material inventory to be obtained this way. That is exciting!