Meyer Wells makes custom furniture and design pieces from trees that have been felled due to development, disease or weather. Their tagline is “furniture with modern roots” — har har! (Actually, I really dig that tagline).
Founded by Seth Meyer and John Wells in 2006, the Seattle-based business has actually thrived in a time when most business are doing quite the opposite. Rather than taking trees and unilaterally transforming them in to furniture that looks like it could have been cast from a mold, they play with the natural shapes and forms of the existing wood, finding a harmony between the piece they are trying to create and the material they are using to create it.
I feel like only a scrooge wouldn’t love the idea of transforming a felled tree in to something beautiful and functional. While there is a certain irony to pieces like the board room table below, mostly I think they’re just gorgeous pieces that a natural element often too lacking in the built environment.
Meyer and Wells happen upon their trees through different avenues, getting some from local arborists or working directly with contractors clearing a site prior to beginning construction.
Work like this tells a story. Not just the literal story that the table you are sitting at actually came from a tree — although there is that element too. From the NYT piece:
If there’s one rule in the shop, it’s this: Respect the tree’s narrative — including the chapters about its hard urban life. Mr. Meyer once found a steel snippet embedded in a beautiful cherry slab, perhaps a remnant of a nail used to hammer a “lost cat” sign to the tree. He left it in place, a piece of the story.
(All images via Meyer Wells)