An old sugar maple, her bark the colour of cinnamon, collapsed under the weight of last winter’s snow. Edging Fox Hollow’s meadow, she had dropped a few large branches in years previous, but last year’s 17 feet did her in.
She’ll take on a new life now. First, Gary will design an unique eight-inch-thick mantel for our friend Dave’s New Brunswick home. Then he will craft eclectic, artful furniture and, possibly, other diverse pieces. There will be no waste.
Our home is full of wonderful Gary-made useable wooden art. The smallest is my carved paperweight in the shape of a black bear. It is made of spruce. The largest is our log bed. It is also made of spruce, from Fox Hollow. There are also coffee and side tables, each one different.
He builds from wood made available by Nature, like the fallen sugar maple, but also of recycled planks, boards and beams. The shelves in my office are of recycled mahogany! And two side tables are huge chunks of a Douglas fir beam recovered from Charlottetown’s Holman building when it was refurbished.
The Douglas fir was headed to the dump, and it was so heavy it just about crushed Gary’s half-ton. A ring count indicates it started growing in the early 1600s. We figure it was brought to PEI in the late 1800s, after British Columbia was connected by rail to the rest of the country, and when the Holman building was first built.
Plans are that, one-day, Gary will have a large workshop at Fox Hollow, where he will continue to make collectible, and useable, treasures from wood.