Special Effects: Visual Characteristics of Reclaimed Wood
What do you gain by using reclaimed wood in your custom furniture project? You’ll be supporting environmentally friendly practices and local artisan businesses. Your furniture can be made to fit any decorating style you like and it will have a one-of-a-kind backstory. Salvaged wood also contains aesthetic elements produced through aging or past trauma that can’t be replicated through other means. Here are a few examples of custom barnwood furniture by CustomMade artisans that showcase some rare physical features in the wood.
Bridging two styles, this rustic-modern coffee table by San Diego Urban Timber was built from locally salvaged sugar gum eucalyptus and reclaimed redwood fence boards. The black streak along its figured, live edge top resulted from a nail driven into a tree long ago to support a treehouse. The tree became boards. The boards have become a table. Artisan Dan Herbst says, “This piece has a real story to tell.” That story is visible in the wood.
As barnwood ages, grooves emerge along the grain of the wood. My Barnwood Frames crafted this unique barnwood mirror with alder inlay to highlight those beautiful brown and gray grooves. The walnut brown color of the sculpted alder moulding complements the look and feel of the barnwood. This frame would fit perfectly with a rustic décor theme, an antiqued look, or anywhere you’d like to feature a unique piece. As Garth Allred writes, “We use wood that has been naturally-aged by Mother Nature herself, and no two frames or mirrors are ever exactly alike.”
Mother Nature and the decisions of the builders of old grain bins combined to create the mellow honey color and polish of this granary-pine sideboard by Michael A. Griffin Woodworking. These knot-free pine boards were originally selected for granaries to resist the incursions of vermin. Over time, the wood matured and produced this irreproducible color and texture. This sideboard is also topped with a granite slab the customers themselves had salvaged.
Spalting is a form of coloration actually caused by the incursion and growth of fungi in wood. These patterns can be as unique and exquisite as any work of art. The artisans of Rescued Resources LLC cut sections of salvaged fallen spalted trees, preserve them with a clear wax finish, and mount them in simple steel frames as spalted wood art. A single piece can be enjoyed as a form of “natural art,” or you can also purchase a series of pieces cut from the same log and appreciate their similarities and differences as you would musical variations on a theme.
Recycled wood can feature so many attractive and one-of-a-kind physical traits. A CustomMade artisan near you will be able to work these natural “special effects” into your own unique custom barnwood or reclaimed wood piece.