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I see the potential in discarded wood material, primarily coming from wine barrels, to create various products including tables, candle holders, lazy Susan’s, trays, serving dishes, and more. Function guides my design, and the beauty of wood inspires my work as I use the wine-stained slats made of oak.
The wine corks had a shape that drew my attention and after some contemplation I found a use as non-skid pads on the bottom of trays or birdhouse roofing.
The metal bands from wine barrels, inspired me to create spheres that make wonderful garden art or light fixtures. I asked myself “Could you do something with these?” and inspiration provided a pathway for creativity.
My shop is the second stop on a reuse journey. I gather materials from Mosquito Fleet Winery and create furniture and furnishing art. Some of my tabletops are a patchwork of small wooden pieces that randomly fit together. I then sand and finish the art… but if any scraps remain, they create heat as they burn in a neighbor’s stove.
Tranquility of Guemes Island offers inspiration. We purchased our house 25 years ago, before retiring, and would refer to it as “The Sanity Place” where we could enjoy boating, island life, build friendships and have time in my woodshop. When the time was right, we made this our permanent home and never looked back.
A new creation often starts with a question from a potential customer, asking what I think about an idea… “could you?” Those are the questions that started many of my projects, including a family that brought me their treasured family oak table that was transformed into a new, smaller, object of art, that still connected with important memories.
© Tom Hancock