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Posted 26/03/2024 in Article

Wasting nothing: It has potential!

Wasting nothing: It has potential!

Guest Blog: Ether Silver Home 

What started out to be a small aspect of my business has now become a strong ethos running though the way I get the materials I use in the products I make and sell. Reclaim, reuse and recycle are popular buzzwords but also strong business ethics with a lot of small business makers I have had the pleasure of talking to and working with. 

In the woodworking community the idea of reusing and recycling material is at the heart of a lot of workshops. If you talk to most woodworkers there are piles and buckets of wood offcuts for those someday projects. I was no different when I started on my woodworking journey, I quickly realised I thrived on the problem solving and product design challenge of those pieces of wood. It also made it an interesting trip to any lumber yard, forestry or even fellow makers workshop.

I would ask for those gnarly pieces people couldn't mill or sell due to the condition of the wood - too many knots, weird growth patterns etc. Friends and fellow makers began to know me as the person who would be interested in those ripped out floor boards or old engineering steps from their mates garage as you never know what you might be getting and the potential of what could be made from it! A favourite wood yard of mine also started to put pieces to one side knowing they might interest me, when they got pieces in, from farms or independents, clearing old sheds they knew I would take on the challenge of working with the older reclaimed wood. Digging out nails and rusty screws. Taking apart old joinery and reusing it to make new pieces. A particular gem was a piece of Afromosia (South African Teak) that was dragged out of the sea from the San Tampar Shipwreck, this was stored in a guys fathers shed and forgotten about then when I got my hands on it I turned it into two striking bowls and a wedding cake stand the quality of the wood and the effects of the salt water had on the wood made it a dream to turn and finish. 

I aim to ‘waste nothing’, the smallest pieces of wood going into my Splinter range. Combined with Resin and returned on the lathe to create totally unique christmas decorations, lamps and light pulls. This is a technique I aim to take further into other products as I collect more small and awkward pieces that would otherwise be destined for the wood burner. With some wood varieties becoming endangered or prices out of the small maker's budget. I find recycling and reusing wood from older pieces exciting, a challenge for the problem solver in me! Plus my customers love the story behind the pieces I create knowing it has physically lived one life before starting another. It all has potential. 

Faye Lavery-Griffiths Ether, Silver & Home www.ethersilverhome.com