This is more than just another buzzword. It’s a philosophy and a practice always worth pursuing and I try to do just that. Here’s the thing, like catching trout it’s something that you want to do over and over again right? If that’s the goal then you have to somehow meter your consumption so the natural regeneration can catch up to the consumption, and a balance is achieved. With the wood I use for my products I approach it in several ways. Sometimes it borders on the equivalent of dumpster diving to recover otherwise lost or wasted lumber, and other times it becomes a game to see just how much of a piece of wood can be utilized. Or conversely, how little waste can be generated in making an item. Cracks, splits, spike knots, checks, bark inclusions, imperfections and blemishes of all sorts are welcome additions when they complement the design and aesthetics of the piece.
I build these things with woods that are, in no small way, sacred to me as well as many, many others. In their natural range they line the banks of nearly all the rivers and streams where we pursue salmon, steelhead, trout, char and grayling. A look at the ring count in the spruce, cedars and fir has me walking streamside through decades if not centuries of their existence. They have been witnesses to run after run of wild fish reproducing, rearing, departing and returning to their home waters. It’s a beautiful thing and a priceless gift.
One way or another these trees have become interwoven with the people of their region, those in the past and those in the present. Their wood has been fashioned into many things that sustain life, from sacred objects that nurture the soul to everyday implements used to house and nurture the body. For these reasons we have utilized them for centuries and will continue to do so. What better way to memorialize their presence in our lives than to fashion them into objects that bring meaning and hopefully happiness into our lives for now and for future generations.
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