You might not know this but I really love working with wood, I find it very grounding. Most of my time working in my field is spent very much in my head and then making what is in my head come out with digital tools. So to sit down and take something solid, that was living and repurpose it into something useful, or sometimes just pretty is a welcome mix up in my day.
It all started with a move. Sean and I are minimalists at heart – although looking around right now at all the wood drying out and scattered works in progress you wouldn’t know it – we have a hard time acquiring or committing to stuff that we may not need or like later. When we moved into our apartment we took our time and tried to be mindful about what we brought in. I’ve always loved to make things and repurpose when possible so after some good ol’ Pinterest inspiration I asked Sean if he could bring me home a stump from his work (a tree service company) to make into a side-table. In true Sean fashion he brought me home four. They weren’t tall enough for side tables but they did end up making pretty good seats on our balcony- until they went moldy. There was much trial and error with these 4, we learned a lot about wood cracking, how long it takes to dry out, removing bark and preventing mold- the latter not always being possible. But it was good fun and we were hooked. We borrowed and bought tools and started experimenting with making other household items- candle holders, coasters, bookends, live edge coffee tables (one of which we couldn’t part with) and the like.
After we’d made a bunch we decided to sign up as a vendor for the night markets at the Sea to Sky Gondola. At first it was stressful, not knowing how much inventory we’d need, figuring out the pricing, guessing what would sell and getting a booth display set-up together. But when we actually got into it it was really fun. I love chatting with people who are travelling through, seeing what they’re drawn to and swapping stories with other vendors. After learning a lot through that experience we decided to set up an Etsy shop for the winter and think about markets again next summer. It’s hard to plan for because we never know what we’ll be able to make. I can say to Sean “can you please bring home something around x size to make more x” but that doesn’t mean it will happen- he doesn’t know what removals or reductions he’ll be doing or what the health of the tree will be. However, he does often come home with interesting bits of wood and a pleased-with-himself smile on his face and say “I thought you could make something with this” – which are some of my favourite projects.
So far it’s been a slow growing and satisfying venture into woodworking. If you want to follow along or just chat about wood you can find us on Instagram as @wood_and_stuff.