“We have all this wood,” he said. “What else are we going to do with it?”
I at least have a corner office with a door, the centerpiece of which is a long conference table made from reclaimed timbers in our county workshop. It is here that I meet with community members, other elected officials, and staff.
The conference table in Dow Constantine’s office is made from reclaimed timbers in the King County workshop. (Photo courtesy of Dow Constantine)
Furniture companies are reaching for sustainability goals by using recycled materials and making their products more recyclable.
The furniture industry has also noticed this trend and has increased its part in using recycled plastics, woods and metals when creating its products.
Ballard Reuse sells salvaged building materials, vintage decor, and unique twists on hardware store staples. Don’t feel like you’re handy enough? They handmade furniture built on-site from reclaimed materials.
Feature wall made from reclaimed Douglas Fir, sourced locally in Vancouver, by furniture maker Brooke Wingrove of Reclaimed Vancouver Photo: Reclaimed Vancouver for The Home Front: Reclaiming Vancouver’s history through furniture and interior design by Rebecca Keillor [PNG Merlin Archive]
“I like using reclaimed wood because I like the look of it,” says Wingrove. “That’s the main thing for me, and then second is using a recycled product. But (for) most people that contact me, it’s the recycling of the wood that’s the main interest for them. They always comment that it saves cutting other trees down, and they love the fact that it’s been in a Vancouver building and now it’s in their house.”
“This was good material that just happens to be waste. We, as designers, didn’t have the time to take this material – which can be an asset – into consideration. Since I always found the garbage bins outside factories more interesting than what they were manufacturing, I decided to use material that adds an innovative sort of flavour,” she says. “It was my retirement plan, using material that had been ‘retired’,” she adds.
A dining table made from an old piano.
“Weighing in at between 250-500kg, they have become a significant contributor to landfill, so we have proposed reinventing and repurposing them into modern and classical furniture pieces,” he said.Mr Hendry said he believed Pianos Recycled had stopped almost 20 tonnes worth of pianos going to landfill in the past year.
This table used to be part of a barn. HD Threshing
Lots of companies do reclaimed, she notes. “Some are putting barn board on walls, or buying items made from shipping palettes. It’s great that this stuff is not going to landfill. Reclaimed is gaining momentum, especially with younger people.”Yet some claims about reclaimed are not all they’re cracked up to be, so buyers need to know what they’re looking for. In fact some pieces are not reclaimed wood at all, but only mass-produced wood made to look the part.
Source: Out of the woods | National Post
J. DICKEY Conference table made from the boards of Seaport shipwreck.
On Aug. 11, Dickey will display furniture he made using wood from the historic ship during an event at District Hall, a Seaport venue on Northern Avenue not far from where the vessel’s remains were uncovered. He’ll also share with the public pieces of the ship that weren’t transformed into furniture, offering history buffs and boat enthusiasts a chance to get up close and inspect the leftovers. “All the pieces of the ship will be represented,” he said. “Any person with knowledge in ship-building and sailing will get to see how they originally put this ship together.”
Enrico Moreno Cinzano has long had a passion for design, and now he has turned his attention to upcycling. His Manhattan apartment is full of furniture he’s made from found items. The chair he’s sitting in is made of hemp fibre and reclaimed pine timbers.
After an award-winning stint in edgy fashion design, Cinzano is now all about upcycling and using found objects to create his line of furniture.
Photos by Matt Faisetty for Provenance
Provenance’s new line of desk lamps were created out of old X-ray head lamps. $400.
Its line of desk lamps, created by melding vintage X-ray reflectors with new bases, soon followed. The next step is setting up a showroom within Provenance’s already massive warehouse, so that shoppers can see the furniture and lighting fixtures on display.
One hope is that the new lines of furniture and lighting will help make trips to Provenance a little less, well, overwhelming. Says Lash, “For a lot of people, when they come here the first time, they look at stuff and say, ‘How do I use it?’ Now, we hope they come back and say, ‘Okay, this could work in my home.’”
With a few simple tools it is easy to go from “standard” to a professional grade finish.
Salvage Works, North Portland, Tracy Barry, KGW
Browning is part artist, part builder, so It’s not surprising that he is drawn to the inner beauty of the reclaimed lumber. And lucky for him, so are many others, just as eager to search for the stories hidden in every grain and to embrace the promise of reinvention.
David Kelvin and his fiancee Keshia Brushett are owners of Urban Designs, a company that uses old and unwanted wood to make custom-made furniture. (Samantha Lui/CBC )
“A lot of people are just interested in what we do and what we’re going to do with the wood,” he said. “There’s a lot of people who want their barns down and they don’t have the money or time to take care of it. For them, it’s a favour. We get something out of it and they get something out of it.”
Tim Brudnicki, the owner of Eau Claire Woodworks, discusses the headboards he is making for the Oxbow Hotel from recycled ash trees the city cut down to stop the spread of the emerald ash borer. Brudnicki is among local artisans making furniture and other items from felled ash trees as part of a partnership involving the city of Eau Claire and Wisconsin Urban Wood.
Previously, that wood has been churned into mulch or turned into pulpwood. But now, thanks to a partnership involving the city of Eau Claire, a Madison-based entity seeking to reuse downed urban trees and local artisans such as Brudnicki, those ash trees that lined many city boulevards are being used for other purposes.
“This is a great way of finding better uses for this wood that was otherwise going to a lesser purpose,” he said.
Design and Build masterminds Matt Vaughn (L) and David Spangler (R) unleash their creativity in each furniture piece. Photo courtesy: REvision Division.
“Eberhard’s influence helped us shift from a value-added mindset to actively pursuing difficult-to-divert materials from the waste stream — shifting the focus to education outreach and behavior change,” Gisclair notes. “We wanted people to see the value and what the possibilities are to repurpose materials that are widely perceived as trash — wooden or flooring shorts, frame pieces, things that we wouldn’t normally accept at the RE Store.”
We sell reclaimed lumber from deconstructed houses and barns, and build beautiful furniture and fixtures for homes, restaurants and retail spaces.
My name is Robert Chapman and my dream is to become a master furniture woodworker. The inspiration for my woodworking has come from my grandfather who was my mentor and loved family member. His knowledge of craftsmanship along with my creativity has molded me into what I am today. My passion is to create beautiful rustic furniture from recycled & reclaimed wood that would otherwise be thrown away. I see the beauty in what others would think to throw away or call “trash.” During the week I drive around collecting pallets, old furniture, torn up deck wood or anything that looked like throw away material and give them life!
Rich Duncan Construction used Barnwood Natural woods on walls and ceilings to add warmth and charm to the First Call Home Health building project.
“There is a lot of great material that we can use that uses a lot less energy and emits a lot less carbon,” Wadleigh said. “We like to design and build projects with what we have so that we are not taking down more trees and we are buying no plastic.”
Clients choose Barnwood Naturals partly because the wood is recycled and holds history, but also because the wood looks so much better than wood purchased now.
“The coloring is much different than new wood,” Wadleigh said. “Doug fir at the big box stores looks nothing like the old growth. There is a lot of character in this older wood.”
Barnwood Naturals warehouses a wide assortment of reclaimed woods, mostly from the Pacific Northwest.
Emily from Emily Rose Vintage; Sophie from Treemendus; Izzie Johnston from Zero Waste Scotland; Shauna from Treemendus and Jo from Very Vintage
Each week during the eight-week campaign the designers – Emily Rose Vintage and Treemendus from Glasgow and Very Vintage from Edinburgh – will work to transform an item of furniture and post the details on Twitter and Facebook.(l-r)
Items used to demonstrate techniques and ideas will all be provided by a range of secondhand stores that hold the Revolve accreditation, a reuse standard awarded to secondhand shops that demonstrate high levels of service and of products.
Furniture Bank Staff photo/DAN PEARCE
Tanya Rausch works on her project at the Funiture Bank Thursday. Five Aboriginal youth from Miziwebiik social agency are apprenticing in carpentry and upsholstery in the charity’s new funiture workshop.
Since the workshop opened in April, participants repaired, refinished or repurposed 1,000 pieces of furniture soon to furnish the home of a person or family in need.
In some cases the rust and weather patterns on the metal are enough to make for an incredibly unique piece of custom-built furniture, while in other instances there is already some form of art present on the vehicle which becomes memorialized in the resulting work.
Matthew Stepp (left) and Mike Weston of Rusted Raven Furniture Co. upcycle furniture at their workshop in Hampden. Ashley L. Conti | BDN
Stepp and Weston are among several artists in Maine who are upcycling furniture and restoring old pieces.
In a timely Valentine’s Day unveiling, Milan design studio Veneziano+Team debuted a heart-shaped wooden stool, created for Italian brand Riva 20, at last month’s IMM Cologne trade fair.
J.C. Callam had his kitchen counters made from a fallen tree. (Andrew Harnik/For The Washington Post)
It’s not necessary to be handy with tools to make use of salvaged lumber. Several companies in and around the District will create custom furniture and other household items for homeowners who provide the wood.
The bathroom door on the first floor of J.C. Callam and David Soo’s Eckington neighborhood D.C. rowhouse uses reclaimed old-growth wood. Callam made the door from wood discarded when the home was renovated. Andrew Harnik/For The Washington Post
Photo by Bailey Barnard
Instructor Eberhard Eichner, 60, explains how to use hollow core doors as building material, Saturday, April 5 at Allied Arts of Whatcom County. Eichner shows the group how doors can be recycled into functional furniture with tools found around the house. The chests are made of repurposed 2-by-4s, hollow and closet doors. The free seminar is put on by The REStore and hosted by Allied Arts in correspondence with the Recycled Art and Resource Expo.
For the Calgary design studio Hinterland, raw materials are everything. Sustainably-certified timber and salvaged wood play a central role in Hinterland’s impressive range of “functional art,” which is to say, unusually artful objects that happen to be supremely functional as well.
Designers Marjan van Aubel and James Shaw set out to put wood shavings to good use, after learning that 50 to 80 percent of raw timber is wasted in the milling process that makes most wooden furniture.
David Spencer/The State Journal Register
Habitat volunteer Hunter Westbrook uses a miter saw to cut wood planking from a recycled pallet that will be used in the construction of the bench. Fellow volunteer Michael Roberts also works on the bench. Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County is building furniture and other items out of wooden pallets in workshop space provided by South Side Christian Church of Springfield.
Matt Sears examines a wooden beam of the demolished building at Market and Main streets in Chattanooga. Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press .
Thick poplar trees covered the Tennessee Valley a hundred years ago. But they were steadily cut down and used as lumber, and now the old-growth wood is nearly impossible to find.
“It’s not available in stores, and there is a limited quantity of it left in the world,” said Matt Sears, owner of Haskel Sears Design, which makes wooden furniture.
Which is why he was excited to find 25-foot-long old-growth poplar floor and ceiling joists in the old brick building on the southeast corner of Main and Market streets. The building has since been demolished to make room for a new mixed-use apartment and retail complex.
But not before Sears got the wood out.
“We pulled the building down without disturbing the valuable materials inside of it,” Sears said. “We also discovered some pine beams and some steel beams that had Woolworth’s stamped on them.”
“In this neighborhood, this is where people dump their construction stuff,” says Adams. “It used to be where cars got burned. But here was all this good wood to use.”
That concept formed the basis of PALLETform, a new collection for his BA Design studio that he runs with his wife, landscape designer Jennifer Ivanovich.
Using the wooden pallets as raw materials, Adams pulls apart the discards, cleans up the pieces and preps them for use in his PALLETform coffee table (from $2,800), where he glues and compresses the milled slivers of wood together to form the tabletop to a fabricated steel base. The nails get put to use as ingredients for a stain. The pieces that aren’t used in the table are bound in steel rings for the PALLETdrum ($1,225). Even the sawdust is collected to use in the couple’s urban farm-like garden, complete with chickens and bees.
Joel Kissel, left, lead furniture fabricator with Upcycle Inc., a project of the Institute for Workforce Innovation, watches as, left to right, Jeremy Whitehead, 19, Johnathan Davis, 20, Greg Sercey, 23, and Ronaldo Rawls, 18, use scrapped wood pallets to build furniture with Project YouthBuild Americorps to be sold at Wednesdays’ Farmer Markets. Erica Brough/The Gainesville Sun
Upcycle is part of the Institute for Workforce Innovation’s Project YouthBuild program for 16- to 24-year-olds who come from low-income households and have not earned a high school diploma or GED.
“(Upcycle) really accomplishes the goals of our organization and also helps the environment,” said Jonathan Leslie, the institute’s executive director and CEO.
Under the direction of furniture fabricator Joel Kissel and other staff, the young people turn discarded pallets made of wood such as pine and oak into home décor inside the Boys & Girls Club Mentor Center on Southeast 17th Drive.
Proceeds from the sale of Upcycle items go toward the institute’s programs and allow the organization to not have to rely on state and federal grants, Leslie said.
Some of the Project YouthBuild students and alumni participate in Upcycle, which teaches them the principles of entrepreneurship and manufacturing, according to the institute.
This isn’t a boring old desk for some boring old office space– bring some style into your business or home office with this gorgeous steel and solid reclaimed oak desk. This will be custom made for you, so we can make it whatever you need it to be to make your daily grind a little easier on the eyes:)
Sawdust and Embryos is one of the best DIY blogs out there. They never fail to do a great project with excellent how to execution.
And well, they have great taste too. Go see this mid century modern dining set redo – tis fabulous!
The cushion fabric was DISGUSTING, and there was almost no padding. We dropped those suckers like a cheating husband on a hot summer’s day… (WHAT?).
Michael Robbins has found a novel way to reduce waste. The New York furniture maker has fashioned a selection of rolling pins made from the fine woods—walnut, maple and sycamore, amongst others—left over from the tables, chairs and lamps he crafts at his Hudson Valley studio.
“My daughter and I love to be creative and re-create pieces that have character,” Vinton said. “We just love it.”
Lubinski, a marketing major at Southeast Technical College, does the staging at the store, arranging the pieces for sale into living rooms and other displays.
“She’s a great artist,” Vinton said. “She can see things and predict what a piece will look like. She loves to stage furniture, her home is staged beautifully.”
United Kingdom: A London-based ‘social enterprise’ known as The Living Furniture Project has been established to weave together three unlikely elements: designer furniture; reclaimed materials; and a more promising future for the homeless.
The new venture is run by a team comprising some of the capital city’s leading ‘eco-designers’ who are training a group of London’s homeless in the art of upcycling using unwanted furniture or other waste materials reclaimed from the local area.
‘Our partner designers teach our homeless apprentices to build the furniture in our fully-equipped workshop,’ explains founder Alastair Sloan. ‘Apprentices also work alongside a mentor – a professional and experienced furniture-maker who teaches them valuable skills and ensures a beautiful, crafted final product.’
Reclaimed wood expert Nic Parnell, one of the specialists in the design pool, says the project has emerged at a good time given that the number of homeless people in London increased by 42% between 2011 and 2012 alone. In addition, UK households landfilled around 670 000 tonnes of furniture last year – 45% of which was reusable, according to research from the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP).
Mike Lock, aged 44, of West Street, Banwell, named the store Lock, Stock and Sparrow, a play on his surname and his partner’s, Kate Sparrow, and is drawing on his 10 years’ experience in furniture restoration to find and stock top pieces and creatively restore old furniture.
Mike opened the store after being made redundant from a similar shop in Bristol and searching without success for a new employer.
The business, based in Locking Moor Road, concentrates on ‘upcycling’ old furniture to give them a new lease of life and was opened by Weston mayor David Hitchins.
Mike said: “We live in a throw away society but many old things are far superior than the new equivalent.
“A testament to this is that much of the stock is over a hundred years old including pine boxes, wardrobes and chest of drawers.
“I am very passionate about recycling and upcycling. It is just a shame that people are so easily led to get rid of nice old things to make way for inferior new things.
“The feedback I am getting from customers is that there is nothing like this store in Weston, people have to go as far as Glastonbury or Wells. It is a well-received venture.”
How long has it been since you thought about your elementary school desk? Mine was made from a combination of metal and some type of faux wood (perfect for graffiti), with an open slot underneath for my notebooks and pencils. It came with a tiny little chair made from similar materials.
After years and years of abuse from young kids, it eventually becomes necessary to replace school equipment like desks, tables, and chairs. Although they may be covered in dings and scuff marks, most of this equipment is perfectly usable, albeit a little small for the average adult. Instead of letting all this equipment end up in the landfill, LA-based designer Dexter Zhao decided to upcycle it into nostalgic furniture that will allow us to continue the learning experience.
Kerti`s side table is made from little bits of reclaimed floorboards – beautifully composed and neatly assembled.
For years, Michael Deakin, the fedora-wearing, camera-wielding owner of Heritage Salvage, has turned old wood, metal and other reclaimed material into new furniture, cabinets, floors and even art.
Now Deakin, known to most as “Bug,” wants to breathe new life into struggling towns across America by teaching them how to use salvaged materials.
With the help of a New York talent agency, Deakin is launching “Reclamation Road,” a reality show that he hopes will take him to small towns around the country decimated by factory closures and the shipping of jobs overseas.
“We are going to reuse, repurpose, rejuvenate and resuscitate using the stuff that’s already sitting in your backyard,” says Deakin, who is never without a bounce in his step or a glint in his blue eyes.
Deakin built his first house using reclaimed materials more than 40 years ago and then went on to build movie sets in Los Angeles. He opened Heritage Salvage in 2002 and since then has accumulated a following for his green vision and desire to reuse and restore old wood.
Now, the carpenter with a penchant for recycling (he showed up at a recent event wearing a “Plastic is Drastic” shirt and decked out in a wooden necklace adorned with a giraffe), says he wants to help other communities harness the power of reclaimed materials to create jobs and make their own items, instead of purchasing them at a big-box store.
“As I watched this downward spiral of towns and the middle class, I realized that there is something much bigger that we can do,” Deakin said. “I want to change the way the country views its buildings.”
Deakin is starting by putting out a call to all of America, especially people living in the rural Midwest, to send him YouTube videos about why they would benefit from such a project. Once selected, Deakin and his crew would travel to the town and teach residents how to deconstruct a building and turn it into new items the community needs.
And since Deakin has a penchant for big, grandiose ideas, he’s not stopping there. He wants to team up with Aqus owner John Crowley and Daily Acts founder Trathen Heckman to “drop in” on towns to teach them everything from how to create a community around a café to using sustainable resources.
“It’s about shopping local and making the most of your social capital,” he says. “We have to fix this country by the way it got built, not by the way it got broken.”
Hall’s favorite medium to work is wood and he is often inspired by historic pieces. “When I’m creating pieces of furniture, I always investigate past designs. How can I improve them?” he asks, “What, if any, is a problem within the design? History is always present if reclaimed materials are used, as I see it. I recently made a custom countertop made of hemlock from a balloon style built house that was built in 1819. Boards of this size and species today are almost unheard of, my estimation would make the age of that piece close to 300 years old. I milled the piece down, sawed it into smaller widths, added some details and glued the piece back together; that tree has been reborn.”
Recently during one of my weekly walks around Buffalo, I stumbled upon something special on the East Side. Two young, creative artists and friends who have set up shop off Broadway just outside of downtown were hard at work getting their woodworking shop in order. Nathaniel Hall and Eric Jude Mott were nice enough to take me on a tour of their building at 343 Hickory Street. They currently occupy the first floor primarily, but are working on making repairs and alterations to the second floor for a unique gallery and living space. They have been in the space since September of last year.
It was thanks to this disposal of old objects and a general tendency to replace what seemed outmoded, that in the early XXIst century a handful of young artisans and artists sensed the intrinsic value of those discarded objects as far superior to those that replaced them in terms of the noble materials and skills employed in their making.
Chance had it that these young minds, for varying reasons, found themselves connected to an underground association, best left unnamed, that promoted a style of life and initiatives that valued these attitudes towards outmoded rejects.
The fertile atmosphere of the association gave birth to diverse collaborations and the spontaneous institution of an intellectual circle that did justice to those objects rejected by the modern world.
The first commercial production of objects using only durable materials that would improve aesthetically over time while maintaining their functionality began around 2005. Practicality and utility were often associated with clean forms, in accord with a humble love for bare materials.
via Rota-Lab – Manifesto.
Malachi Milbourn sees stories in the wood he works. The 28-year-old North Portland resident finds and salvages pieces of old-growth wood from buildings throughout the state that are deconstructed or torn down.
He turns the wood into coffee tables, side tables, dinner tables and other furniture, then sells them through his business, Against the Grain. He has made furniture with wood from a Corvallis hops mill built in 1910, a Molalla barn built in 1900 and parts of the Oregon State Hospitals original building, which was partially demolished in 2010.
Against the Grain
On the Web:
His North Portland studio, at 7401 N Albina Ave., is open by appointment only.
I started at my warehouse (in other words, dad’s horse barn loft) where I keep a lot of my finds and came across this 1 1/2″ thick board (part of a stack of 15 or so). They were originally in the Wannville Post Office, which I was able to salvage sometime around 2003 or so after I purchase my farm. To be honest I had forgotten about having them.
The interesting thing was that the darker color was actually from many years of use as a shelf and the fact that the heart wood had a green tint to it. In fact there was only about 2 inches along the side that were not heart wood, which was probably due to the size and age of the tree. Also, I’m not sure what the holes in the side were used for, but I definitely like the way they look. And once I cross-cut the piece to make two tops, it left me with 2 tops measuring 14×18″.
Everything worked out great on these two tables. I really like the way each piece reveals some history for how they were once used. I also like how I was able to keep the little round-over detail on the stiles (in the pic above you can see it on the red stile). Its little details like this that I think add a lot to a piece of furniture. They both measure 18″x14″, stand roughly 22″ high, and will fit in nicely with our living room furniture. Plus they are solid enough that we no longer have to worry about “Destructo Boy” turning them over!
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: as much as we love the look of modern design, we LOVE when it’s a design that uses old things to make new things…that’s sustainable and smart. Austin, Texas furniture company Petrified Design is grabbing up old but still usable building materials and shaping them into pretty darn good-looking pieces of furniture. Composed of designers Tyson Pendergrass and Gable Bostic, you can read all about them on a recent feature in Austin CultureMap. Check them out on Etsy. And their website.
A furniture maker is building a business from giving vintage furniture a new lease of life.
Martin Hough started his business, 23 Chairs, last year for people looking for something a bit different from the mass produced furniture from high street stores.
The 29-year-old hopes revenue from upcycling – recycling an item with improvements – will allow him to set up a workshop and create his own designs.
Mr Hough started his business in Mount Pleasant, Katesgrove, after eight years of travelling around Australia and New Zealand where he learned and honed his cabinet making and joinery skills.
He said: “I’ve been going six months properly and business is going from strength to strength.
Martin Hough, of 23 Chairs, who upcycles old furniture
“I’ve worked as a cabinet maker over the last eight years but it has always been a dream of mine to start my own business, so I’m living the dream.”
Mr Hough, who has settled in Central Reading, sells pieces at his workshop as well as at Portobello and Spitalfields markets in London and via the internet. He has also started repairing furniture to provide a steady income.
Mr Hough said: “I’m trying to cover quite a few bases. The idea originally was to set this up to finance a workshop with machinery and then start producing my own designed furniture. But setting up a workshop is so massive, it’s got to be a gradual process rather than taking out big loans.”
Mr Hough retrieves furniture from auctions and charity shops and then works his magic.
He said: “For upcycling pieces I take a vintage or retro piece of furniture and put a modern twist on it. I like mid-century design in furniture. I’m not into the Edwardian or Georgian periods but [prefer] the 50s to 70s and some war time stuff.”
He added: “I get a lot of furniture which is in a really bad state but has got some really lovely shapes and you can see that with a bit of TLC you can give it a new lease of life.”
Mr Hough created his business in a recession but the ‘make do and mend’ mentality prompted by austere times could work in his favour along with the obvious green element.
He said: “Upcycling is very much an emerging market in the UK but it hasn’t yet got the recognition it has in other parts of Europe.
You know my love of “frankenfurniture” (a neologism I’m desperately trying to spread around), and it should come as no surprise that I adore this sofa that D*S reader John Doucet made from old doors. Now the key to successful frankenfurniture is not just a novel idea of how to combine or turn one furniture object into another, it’s also the execution. A sofa made from old doors could be a big old mess if designed poorly, which is why I admire John’s piece all the more. I love the look of the subtle tilt, the decision to leave the old metal details and the hours of work John put into stripping the doors down to their beautiful raw state. This is a truly gorgeous piece, and for $55 (!), you could not score something of this quality in a million years. Can you tell I want one of my own? 🙂 Wonderful job, John! — Kate