About The Wood Project
Since I was a little boy I played with wood. My dad used to make me a sword every year from the Christmas tree. Then I grew up and started to play with plywood building my first objects. Since my 7th grade until 2010 I stopped the activity.
But in 2010 I saw my child playing with a plastic toy that was neither beautiful, neither quality not to mention the cheap finish. And the passion for wood was back. I started buying books and tools and soon made my first toys.
Wood is precious material and takes a lot of time from the seed until the full tree. So my promise was this: I will plant for each toy made between one and three trees from the essences that grow in my area and are used for my toys.
Trees are great. They produce oxygen we need and bring rains in a hot summer day. They also know how to "die" with dignity under our tools.
Unfortunately more and more forests are destroyed. By destroying them we destroy our world. I think that the laws everywhere in the world should impose planting 5 trees for each tree you want to cut, before cutting it.
In my kitchen I grow every year few trees that get planted in the spring in the park near me or around my block. I'm sure you can grow your own trees and that there is some space available near your house where you can plant them. This is also a good way to teach your children that the environment is important and to show them how they can contribute to a better life around them. They are curious and will love to see how life can grow from a small seed.
So, if you have a tree in your area, take care of it. Give it water in hot summer days and a hug from time to time. I'm sure it'll feel it and respond to you with rustling leaves.
There are various types of woods I use for my toys. I try to concentrate on the species available around my area, but I also use exotic species as well. Using different species is great as I can give my toys contrast and make them look more realistic.
Below are some samples of the woods I use.
- Linden (Lime)
- Black Willow
As the wood ages it normally gets darker.
They are all great woods to work with but my favourites are mahogany, walnut and oak.
I try to reuse as much as possible from the woods that are readily available around me. My sources for wood are:
- Logs for fire. It hurts when I see oak or birch or maple used as firewood. So whenever I see one log I try to "save" it to turn it into something that will be useful for years to come.
- Industrial scraps. Often the big lumber companies throw away for fire or panels wood that can be used by me. That's how I got hold of cherry, sapelle or maple off-cuts.
- Reclaimed wood. Teak and Mahogany are types of wood that I normally find in demolition yards in UK. Bar tops are excellent to reuse as they are thick (almost 7cm / 3") and from one piece solid wood. Wardrobe doors and drawer faces are also made out of solid wood. In Romania it is hard to find furniture that you can reuse as most of it is scrapped for fire or not made from solid wood.
So if you have some highly figured wood boards that looks nice and you feel like you want to do something nice with it, send it to me. I'm sure someone will enjoy the toy manufactured from this wood.