First Growth Trees Repurposed into Tasting Room Art

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Wood detail brought to life!

Ever since I moved to Seattle from the east coast, I have been in awe of the history surrounding the area in logging and forestry. Although modern day logging still continues, local organizations have gone to great lengths to preserve trees that have withstood the tests of time – heavy winds, voracious precipitation… even volcanic eruptions – yes multiple!  There are old growth tree preservation areas hosting lookouts and viewing areas of trees well over 6′ in diameter – it is unreal. So when my friend Flynn called me and proposed a business idea harvesting old growth trees – my head turned sideways.

His idea was simple: In the city of Seattle – coined the Emerald City – trees fall all of the time due to weather. Historically, these trees were cut into firewood and burned. Flynn wanted to take the fallen trees and repurpose them into furniture. Tables, chairs – whatever the wood speaks to. I couldn’t tell you how excited I was to be a part of the project. To immortalize something that would have otherwise been burned – how cool! We decided to call it Freeform – as we never knew what kind of trouble we would get into, but as long as it had to do with repurposing something then we were good to go. Taking no particular form = Freeform. Ahhh necessity – the mother of creation!

Over the past year, we have been working on some of our first wood to emerge from the kiln. All wood is shipped over to Vashon Island, a small land mass accessible by ferry from West Seattle and cut into slabs. Due to the sheer size of these behemoths, traditional methods of cutting them longitudinally is deployed using large chainsaws. Once the logs are cut into slabs, they are then strapped down and placed in a kiln to remove remaining moisture. They are then transported to the wood shop where the finishing touches are completed.

Very cool stuff and super fun. The first client that Freeform obtained is Fidelitas Winery located on Red Mountain – a Washington state American Viticultural Area (AVA) in Benton City. Try some Malbec, check out the wood, and look out over the Yakima Valley. Fun and yummy!

"Knotty" Detail

This old methuselah has been shined up and ready for use again!

Frank Martin
Frank Martin was raised in the foothills of the White Mountains in Western Maine. Being from a small town had its advantages, but he decided at an early age that he would dwell urban and escape to the mountains in his free time. Snowboarding is his passion and he says, “Music is the answer.” Frank explores new places through his stomach. He is a lover of this world and the people in it, and shows this by talking to everyone and asking questions: let’s say, a strong enterprising curiosity. He knows the people that make his coffee, clean the city streets, and drive public transportation.

Graduating with a B.S. in Business and Hospitality Management from the University of New Hampshire, Frank has been involved with Hotels and Corporate Real Estate Development for the better half of the decade. Upon moving to Washington, Frank stepped aboard Corliss Wine Estates as director of vineyard operations and brands. After 3 years with Corliss, Frank moved into digital media and branding with One to One Interactive as the Direct Sales Manager for the Western US.
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