The Wood (my favorite woods)
Pacific Yew: The Pacific yew is a small to medium-sized evergreen tree, growing 10–15 m tall and with a trunk up to 50 cm diameter, rarely more. And rarely grows to heights of more the 20 meters, The tree is extremely slow growing. As it is not a very common wood and only grows in certain spots along coastal British Columbia and Vancouver Island, the wood is highly prized by wood workers and bow makers as it is noted for its warm orange color, unique grain, and is hardest woods we have British Columbia.
The Oldest living tree in the U.K is a Yew tree growing in a church yard in Scotland which may be 3000 years old,
The Pacific Yew wood that I use in my work is reclaimed from logging sites on Vancouver Island,
Arbutus: Arbutus, or Pacific Madrone, are magnificent trees that are found in the dry southeast regions of Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and scattered around West Vancouuver, These unique and striking trees commonly split into several main branches close to the ground, creating massive canopies of red, orange and chartreuse coloured twisted branches.
Arbutus wood is highly prized by wood workers for its unique grain, color and hardness, and makes fantastic bowls, cutting boards, spoons and some furniture.
The Arbutus wood I work with a usually find on the beaches of Vancouver Island or if I am lucky, I am able to salvage a long dead arbutus tree on private property.
Big Leaf Maple:
The largest maple tree in Canada the big leaf maple can grow to heights of 36 meters, it grows only in the southwest corner of British Columbia.
Coastal peoples used big leaf maple wood to make dishes, pipes and hooks for clothing. Many groups who made paddles out of the wood called it the paddle tree. They used the inner bark to make baskets, rope and whisks for whipping soopolalie berries.
In the Interior, aboriginal people ate the young shoots raw in the spring. They also made a type of maple syrup, but because the sap has a low sugar content, it takes a large quantity of sap to make a small amount of syrup. Because of its close grain and moderate hardness, maple wood is used commercially for furniture, interior finishing, and musical instruments.
The maple is use in my wood work I find along the beaches on Vancouver Island.
A medium-sized tree, up to 24 metres tall and 90 centimetres in diameter; Yellow Cedar only grows at higher elevations along coastal British Columbia Southeast Alaska. Aboriginal people along the coast used yellow-cedar extensively. They used the wood for paddles, masks, dishes, and bows and wove the bark to make clothing and blankets.
The wood is very valuable commercially because of its straight grain, yellow color, and resistance to decay. It is used a lot in boat building, the Japanese have been using the wood for making their temples and shrines, It is also known for it’s resistance to rot and insects making it an excellent wood for outdoor applications.
The majority of the Yellow Cedar I work with is salvaged from logging sites on Vancouver Island.