A Love Affair with Timber
In honour of Tree Week we thought we would tell you a little bit about the love affair we have with "forgotten timber" - one of the key materials in our lamps.
All of the timber we use is either ancient, salvaged timber or storm-fallen and we have a workshop full of the stuff in all different shapes and sizes. If you've ever visited our workshop you'll see a variety of timbers dotted around the place and Eoin is proud to know where every piece comes from and the history behind it.
All of our salvaged timber is old and has usually lived a long life before it came to us. Some of our oak held up roofs in buildings and churches in the days when this type of wood was plentiful. The old age of the timber gives it a beautiful grain and character that just can't be found in newer wood. Oak has a lovely honey shade to it and complements most types of interiors.
Irish yew is one of our storm-fallen timbers and a firm favourite. It is so closely connected to our Irish heritage and is one of Ireland's ancient mythical trees. We dedicated a whole blog post to it which you can read here. It tends to have a more orange tinge than oak but again this varies greatly depending on the tree. Due to the specific patterns we find in yew timber, it often works better in smaller pieces with live edge features like the bespoke piece featured below.
Pitch pine is a very old timber and was used heavily the construction industry in the US. Our newest Liberties collection uses pitch pine, salvaged from an old building in the Liberties area of Dublin. Even thought it is centuries old, when cut is smells as fresh as when it was cut down in the forest. Our neighbours in the next unit to us always know when we're cutting pitch pine because the smell is so strong.
Jarrah is another favourite timber of ours and came to Ireland as ballast on convict ships from Australia. Jarrah is a very dense timber and is the main reason we had to buy a 100 year old saw to cut it - modern machinery was not strong enough! The timber has a rich plum or purple colour which varies greatly from tree to tree. Our Ballast lamps are made from this timber.
We also use a lot of spalted beech, another storm-fallen timber. Its a good all rounder and most of it comes from within 20 miles of our workshop. Spalted beech has a distinctive pattern which is due to a fungal growth in the timber where two spores meet. Our Súgán or ceiling light is one of our most popular ceiling lights in spalted beech.
Because our timber is so old and because it is salvaged we often find very interesting items embedded in it or marks which give some indication of its history. We have found roman numerals on old oak beams, handmade nails in timber and even some barbed wire which had grown with the tree and had become firmly encased in it. Old timber is a truly beautiful and fascinating material to work with.
We can make any lamp in any of the timbers we have available so if there's a specific timber that you like, then just let us know.