Dockwood Bench 1

The Dockwood Furniture concept

We’ve always been fascinated by nature’s process of aging. In wood it takes so many forms: the lichen-covered log lying in a forest; a battered, shipworm-eaten piece of an old dock on a beach; the worn, ridged, silvered look of old outdoor furniture; or the smooth striations in the trunk of a dead pine without its bark.

Living in a seaside community, with thriving maritime and yachting activity, we were brought in touch with a certain kind of  natural aging and deterioration: that of wood in the context of salt water, the seashore itself, and sea creatures. Being right on the water, we were constantly finding wooden flotsam, in the form of pieces of lumber from which docks and piers were built, or wood from wrecked boats, and even lawn furniture.

The wood we found had most often been in the sea for years. It was extensively battered and worn by the action of waves and the rocks and sand of the shoreline it washed up against. Nature had “sculpted” these pieces of wood into fascinatingly beautiful shapes, often wearing away softer parts of the wood while the harder-grained portions survived. Most interestingly, sections of lumber from old docks, which had been submerged in salt water the entire life of the dock, were riddled by tiny holes bored by countless thousands of shipworms.

Some experimentation led to the ability to construct sustainable furniture from the salvaged wood we found, and that’s how Dockwood Furniture was created.

3 thoughts on “About

  1. I love looking at things like that. We live on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, which is temperate rainforest. There are old growth forests around here with trees that are hundreds of years old, and I love to just look at them, see all the venerable signs of their age and history, imagining what situations and conditions they’ve stood through. It’s also fascinating to see what happens after they fall: they become entire new landscapes for myriad other forms of life.

    I love that piece of wood up in the header image; it is just stunning! What process did you use to put the finish on it?

    • Hi Jan,

      Every time I think of Vancouver Island I think of Malcolm Lowry!

      We envy you your old-growth forests, and your comment takes us back to our youths in California, when we spent time with our families camping in the high Sierras, or rambling through groves of Giant Sequoias. We now live on a small island – City Island, New York – a little like a New England fishing village, but still part of New York City. Yet we still have access to an old-growth forest! It’s only 50 acres in the center of the New York Botanical Garden, here in the Bronx, but a lovely place for quiet walks among trees, living and dead, including a 275-year-old white oak.

      Thanks for your kind words about the header photo. It is a close-up of the seat back of our first bench. You can read about our dressing and finishing process at the end of our first blog post, our “manifesto.” This piece of wood was totally riddled by the drilling of “shipworms,” whose holes remain visible after the dressing and sculpting of the wood.

      Again, your remarks are much appreciated.

      Dave & Sharynne

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