Providence

A Relaxing Oasis in Boston, MA

Imagine waking up and feeling refreshed. Working and feeling inspired. When I look at these images I am reminded, nature is the true designer. Something so peaceful about the mix of materials, light and nature. 

When I began working on this walnut slab, I envisioned it as a communal table in a restaurant. Piecing it back together with its other half when a large party wanted to sit together. How wrong I was... This piece wasn't meant for that. It was meant to bring a sense of purpose to this room. To say "I once was broken, but now I am whole. This is where I belong". 

My Pith series has been my most unexpected success story in the shop. By taking these often discarded boards, and putting them back together we have found a new purpose. The "Pith", refers to the center of the tree and represent the 1st year of growth. It is a soft, spongy material and generally this board will split right down the middle because of this. But there is another meaning to this word, "The essence of something". 

Crafting these pieces takes time, thought, and planning. It all starts at the mill. We take careful measurements when beginning our cuts because your 1st cut dictates how your last cut ends. These cuts are often planned to remove the pith from all other boards. Making them more stable and less likely to crack during the drying and building process. As I mentioned earlier, once these boards have dried they are likely to crack along the pith. We reinforce the cracked boards together again using a variety of techniques (Mortise and Tenon, Bowties, Epoxy, etc...). Here you can see our process and inlaying bowties (other names include butterflies, Dutchmans keys, etc...):

It is our hope that we can continue to salvage these boards to create truly one of a kind heirloom pieces for years to come. Thank you for reading and please feel free to comment or share below! 

Trees and tables made in Rhode Island

Buying furniture can be confusing and difficult. Often times this is because we dont know where to begin... Building furniture here in Rhode Island gives us a great advantage because we are able to locally source our lumber, meet with clients, and deliver our pieces without much travel.

Here at Hopes Woodshop we pride ourselves on making sure that we are sustainably harvesting local trees. This means we primarily use trees that may have come down in a storm or were yard trees that were dangerous for homeowners and their homes. 

6 months ago I received a phone call at 7am from a friend that the Sugar Maple tree was coming down in front of her home in Providence, RI. I jumped out of bed and rushed to see if I could save this log from being firewood. As you can see from the photos below, I was successful!

 

We work with a local Sawmill in Coventry RI, that take these trees and mill them into usable lumber that we can build our furniture with. Once the lumber is milled, the drying process begins. This takes anywhere from 1-2 years until the lumber has reached its optimal moisture content of 7-10%. Below are photos of the stickering and stacking process. 

In 2 years we will begin hand selecting boards from this pile to become furniture. What they will become? Only time will tell... 

To learn more about wood movement and moisture content please check out "Understanding Moisture content and wood movement"

Check our these links for more information:

How to go green 

Why Buying local is worth every cent