Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Reclaimed Trends

Today's featured shop is not only stylish, but eco-friendly!  Reclaimed Trends specializes in rustic handcrafted wooden items, such as shelves, frames and birdhouses, which are made from reclaimed and repurposed wood.  I love the look of the aged wood - the naturally shabby feel makes it seem as if each item has a unique and storied past which is beautifully present even in its re-imagining.

Bill Ritchie, the creative mind behind Reclaimed Trends, has this to say:

Beautiful Rustic, yet Modern (Sm/Med Sized) Wood Shelf
made with reclaimed Humboldt Milling Company Old Growth Lumber 

CM:  Tell us a little about yourself:
BR:  I was born and raised in the Midwest (Kansas & Colorado). I grew up with a fair share of time spent living in the country and smaller city. As far back as I can remember I was making things out of wood and other “found” objects. It was probably at age 15 that I took a real or more serious liking to wood working. Up until then I was an avid plastic model enthusiast. I turned my first bowl on a wood lathe at age 16 and the rest is history. Although I’ve worked in the construction industry for the last 20+ years, it’s only been the last 4 years or so that I picked up my love of woodworking. I’m able to have a small shop in my garage that allows me some “therapy” from time to time.

Beautiful pair of X-Large Vintage Victorian Styled Gesso Picture Frames 

CM:  What drew you to working with reclaimed wood? What inspires you to create the particular pieces you make?
BR:  I like to think that I was chosen by reclaimed wood instead of me choosing it. My line of work allows me to be able to reclaimed most of the wood and other objects I use. I guess it really came natural for me to reuse things that would normally be discarded and on their way to a landfill. I love a rustic look and what better way to get that look than by using old reclaimed lumber and found objects? I also believe that the wood has a story to tell and if it would have been discarded, so too would its history. For me nothing feels better than to “rescue” something from sure destruction, clean it up and upcycle it into a piece of art. I’m inspired by all things nature. I’m also inspired by Architectural designs and to create something useful out of something discarded.

My motto is: “Reclaim, Recycle, Upcycle and Reuse.”

The "Mountain Chalet" reclaimed Humboldt
Milling Company wood Birdhouse w/electrical insulator perch 
CM:  Where do you find the wood and other materials you use for your items?
BR:  Most of the materials I find are from actual remodel jobs that I have worked on. The current wood I use came from a beach house built in 1906. We did a complete interior remodel of this house a few years ago. I decided to keep this old growth lumber as it was in fantastic shape & had too much character to go to a landfill. Plus, it has an historical history too that adds to its flare. Sometimes I find materials at estate sales, garage sales, flea markets and online.

Natural Rustic Large Wood Shelf made with reclaimed
Humboldt Milling Company Old Growth Lumber 

CM:  What is your work area like? Outdoors? Garage?
BR:  I work both in my garage and outdoors. My tools are kept in the garage, however, I usually end up pulling them outside and working on projects in the great outdoors. This gives me more room to work, plus the warm feeling of the sun keeps me in “tune” with nature.

Limited Edition 1 of 6. Gorgeous Natural Rustic Wood Framed Mirror
made with reclaimed Humboldt Milling Co. Old Growth
Lumber & vintage mirror.

CM:  What is the best part about selling on Etsy for you? The most challenging?
BR:  Best part: I think the warm atmosphere and the “like minded” artists give Etsy a since of community. We all can find something we have in common. I also think the fees are very reasonable and fair.

Most challenging: I’d say the listing application of Etsy is a bit outdated and cumbersome. Not being able to schedule or even use a 3rd party lister means I’m not free to pick and choose the times to post my listings. It doesn’t allow me to work on it if I only have 15-30 minutes of free time and save it for editing later. All I want is to be able to save & schedule my listings as it would be easier on my schedule!

Large Trinket/Shadow Box Shelf

CM:  What's your favorite item in your shop right now? 
BR:  Probably one of my rustic wood framed mirrors or the large trinket/shadow box shelf.

Exquisite Natural Rustic Large DOUBLE Wood Framed Mirror
made with reclaimed Humboldt Milling Co. Old Growth
Lumber & vintage mirrors. 

CM:  Do you have any favorite shops or items on Etsy? 
BR:  I have a ton of them, but here are a handful:

A big thank you to Bill!  Stay tuned... We have some fantastic shops lined up!  And of course, I'm always looking for more, so spread the word and keep on following Kézi and Friends... maybe your shop will be next :)

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