Back in 2001 I met a man with a passion for trees. Having always had a real love for oddly shaped bits of timber and driftwood, it made me realise there were other people out there who shared this passion, so I wasn’t just a weirdo wood lover! When I bought my first flat in 1996, I’d told the developers to leave out any flooring as we’d sourced some sodden, oil covered yellow pine boards hidden under tarpaulin in a garden in North Manchester. It was amazing, full of character and aroma, I often wonder if it’s still there in the flat, I hope so. On-going through developments I’ve used bits and pieces picked up along the way, even when criticised on Property Ladder for my reclaimed timber being an ‘unnecessary’ expense, to me, touches like these are what give a house beauty and individuality, what make it a home.
I got a bit waylaid in 06 -10, a combination of being very busy, having lots on and too bad a back to be lugging hunks of timber around, but the passion never went away. I bought a few pieces made by others and collected some off-cuts from trees cut down in our local area and now it’s time to start utilising them again! Mr M and I are re-doing a roof top terrace for one of our flats and needed a large timber seat plank. I didn’t want some boring softwood but a piece with personality, so I took him down to my secret timber store – he fell in love with it too 🙂
We delved around and saw lots of amazing timber, wood which were it not for the passion of the man who collects it, would be simply sent off for firewood when the trees are cut down – criminal! Oak, yew, beech, gorgeous grains, shapes and textures – what’s not to love?!
Much of it was for inside use only, but there was a long thick slice of Robinia, which is quite rare. The tree only has a thin trunk and often grows a bit bendy, so is rarely used for furniture etc, but it’s heavy, hard and durable. You may hear that it’s poisonous, but no, it’s not that we don’t like these tenants ( 😉 ), it’s the bark and sap, which we’ll remove and try not to chew on!
I was even more inspired by the incredible triple Yew root table and the Reading Chair with it’s carved books for legs & back being made for a local school, they reminded me of the creations of Livio di Marchi from Venice.
All in all a fab afternoon, just the hard work now, sanding that Robinia and making the bench!