My story begins with my love for the land where the process for these wood designs initiates.
From a very young age, my grandparents taught me the value of hard work and dedication as I watched them toil on their farm. Their example influenced me to teach my children to find their talents and show appreciation for these gifts by striving to do their very best. This land is my grandparent's legacy, and the lessons I have learned while working on it are held sacred to me and my family! We harvest trees that have fallen or are about to fall and spend countless hours each autumn re-planting hardwood saplings throughout the acreage. We take such great care because we view this land, not as a gift from the past, but as something borrowed from our future. For many years I have harvested, milled, and dried the trees that the land has provided and then used the wood to make furnishings and accents for my family and friends. I have regularly been asked the question, "Why don't you sell your products?" Through this gallery I now offer a sample of my wood designs to you.
These designs are influenced by my past with a respectful eye to the resources of the future. Each tree that the land provides is unique and each board is carefully and respectfully transformed into an artifact similar to the ones presented in this gallery.
Watch Our Tree-Transformation Video
Short Story - A Life Lesson From a Tree
I recently looked down the hill to the north of my grandfather’s barn to see that a very large ash tree had fallen and was leaning into the other trees. As I gathered my equipment and headed down the hill, I quickly noticed that this tree had the misfortune of growing very close to another majestic tree - which no doubt created a challenging growth environment. After carefully using my grandfather's tractor to release the entanglement with neighboring trees above, I began to log the tree for milling. As I worked my way to the tree's stump, I decided to take a break and count its growth rings. To my surprise, this tree was 98 years old… it was a sapling the same year that my grandmother was born!
As I looked closer at the stump, I could not help but notice that the rings on this tree began telling me a story of its life. There were clearly some periods of prosperity for this tree as the growth rings were wide apart and easy to decipher, but there were also many decades of hardship and trial as the growth rings were so close together that they were hard to distinguish from one another. It was my human inclination to consider how much better it would have been for this tree if it had a chance to grow just 20 feet away where it would not have been competing for resources with other large trees during its lifespan. But soon my thoughts went back to the story that the tree was telling me…
Not only did this tree grow for 98 years in a less than ideal location, there were entire decades where it received so little resources that it seemed to use all of its energy just to survive another day. This tree likely struggled through consecutive years of drought, extreme heat, and bitter cold that caused it to put a temporary pause on the luxury of producing large growth rings. But unlike my first human inclination, this tree did not waste its energy looking for complex answers to the challenges that tested its ability to endure. It did not, for example, resent the animals in the forest because they had the ability to walk to a water source when thirsty or find the safety of shelter during a storm. Nor did it look to the trees on the top of the hill with envy or bitterness because of their good fortune to grow in a better location. It was as though it graciously accepted the imperfect opportunity that it was given and double-downed on its own strengths to make it through the most trying days, months, and years. Without an inkling of complaint or negativity and despite its many hardships, this tree found a way to flourish during its 98 trips around the sun! And with what result? The tree grew to be a significant part of the beautiful landscape that has been enjoyed by people and wildlife for nearly a century!
As I picked up my saw and readied myself to resume the work of logging, I realized that the wood I was about to harvest had a very special meaning. It was significant to me that this tree came to life the same year that my grandmother was born because its approach to life's trials reminded me very much of her. Like this tree, my grandmother also seemed to receive an extra portion of trials and challenges throughout her life, but she endured these without complaint, excuse, or envy. She toiled through hardships without letup and found a glimmer of light even on the darkest days. Through her diligence and good decision making she created a pattern of small and steady successes throughout her life. Her example often reminds me of the mindset I need to maintain in order to navigate through my challenges.
Sometimes we search for complex theories or theologies to help us rationalize the challenges we face. The real answers, however, are often so simple and readily available if we only take the time to learn from those who have successfully walked life's path before us. The fruits of this tree's 98-year endurance will be honored along with my grandmother's legacy for generations to come as I someday share this life lesson with my grandchildren while rocking them on the chair that I will make from its wood.
Meet My Team
IT Director (and wood stacker)