The idea of a singular tree concept and collection came pretty much out of necessity. The majority of the wood I get and use so far is from a 2 acre property in Speonk Long Island from a guy named Joe who sells firewood and who I happened to befriend in a interesting way which can be read about more in the story section. I would say there’s hundreds and hundreds of trees stacked on top of each other all balancing in some bizarre way on top of each other. What happens is Tons of trees come down in Long Island everyday whether its for making more sun for a pool, safety of one falling on a house or storms like Sandy taking them down which is actually where a fair mount of trees on Joe’s property are from. The tree cutting service cuts them down and instead of making them into woodchips they drop them at Joe’s and Joe splits it all into firewood. Of course when there’s so many trees some of them end up just sitting there and rotting forever which are sometimes my favorite ones! So usually the trees aren’t the gigantic ones that you can cut tons of slabs for dining tables. They’re usually wide enough for coffee tables and things like that. I don’t have the luxury of having a big band mill to throw logs on so basically its me and Joe grabbing these big hunks of wood or mostly climbing up this mountain of wood with the 4 foot chainsaw and just cutting freehand to whatever cut I want that day. We grab the wood, throw it in my Toyota and then I get to figure out what I’m going to do with this green, wet, gnarly yet gorgeous wood! So really out of a combination of me having a thing with utilizing every part of something and necessity I made a decision to take this wood that was going to be either chopped up for firewood or left to rot and use as much of every inch of it that I could. So from that I ended up having to get pretty creative with what to do. With the hand carved stools the process usually starts with me chain sawing the middle of a big log out. When that’s done there’s usually 4 big hunks of wood left on the ground so instead of throwing that away ill figure out something interesting to do with it. Maybe a bowl or a vase an iPhone speaker, jewelry or just some gorgeous small piece of bark that I can utilize in a wall art piece. My point is that this whole entire thing that was cut down is beautiful literally from the top to the bottom and my goal is when I go to Joe’s and see a 20 foot long 3 foot wide cheery blossom tree up on the pile is cut as much of that up as possible big parts, little parts, burls which are amazing by the way and really just let the shapes, grain, cracks, squirrel holes, rot, decomposition and everything else you can think of tell me what to do with them. Finding that synergy between my emotional connections to these pieces in the first place and what I see in them or what it shows me is the magic and the beauty behind the singular tree concept and collection. Currently I have a cherry blossom, sassafras, walnut, oak, beech and a few other tress I am making a part of this collection which will be available on the website.
Ian Love