The Bench


While I know that if a tree fell in the woods, I WILL use it, I have no idea what kind of tree it is. That’s not my strength. If the grain pattern, bark, or unique shape catches my attention, it’ll be lugged back to my shop. But I’m clueless as to what it is, unless it’s walnut. THAT I know.

“What kind of tree is that table made out of, Mel?”

“A pretty one.”

Maybe I should have majored in dendrology instead of El. Ed.

So when someone gives me wood that is milled and stripped of all bark, I will continue to look at you blankly if you ask me what it is. This bench? No. Idea. But it’s pretty.

I met this sweet customer at Garlic Fest in Bennington a few years back and she’s purchased a few pieces from me over the years. When she placed an order for a bench after the recent festival, I knew I had some unique remnants I wanted to use for the legs, and I just happened to have enough to make it the size and style she wanted. And the thick slab top was something I was hoarding for awhile to make into a bench seat. I didn’t want to cut it down because of the beauty of the grain on all four sides, and again, it just so happened that the customer was good with having a 55″ bench for the front porch. Cue happy dance. I love it when things happen organically like this.

Stained in black walnut:


She drove from NH to pick up her order. She left with a blanket ladder and bench, and I walked inside with a new bottle of beer. (Her hubby works for a popular brewing company in New England and she brought a gift after seeing what I did with The Pinnacle.) Random acts of kindness from people blow me away. Such a small token, yet so thoughtful. Gifts of appreciation from her and a few other customers recently when receiving their orders never cease to make me smile, even if I had a horrible day or just dropped a trailer on my bare toes because I refused to accept it’s too cold for flip flops. (This may or may not have happened this week. I plead the fifth.)

A little bit of kindness goes a long way.

Mac tested. Mac approved.

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About Mel

My name is Mel, and I spend my time living, working and playing on the east coast. I'm a reclaimed wood artist who loves to continually find ways to repurpose wood and give it new life. "Nature Calls: Reclaimed Wood Designs" is my business dedicated to doing that! Thanks for stopping by!
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