Marbling, or How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Poplar.
About a year ago, we got a call from a local lumber mill about a load of off cuts that they were going to be throwing away. Normally we deal with lumber from old houses, not lumber mills, but we're not the type to allow any type of wood to end up in a dumpster.
The next day, we showed up with our pickup truck, only to turn around immediately and go rent a car-hauling trailer. This was a MASSIVE amount of lumber. Massive. They had to load it up with a forklift, strapped down with steel. Wow. We had no idea what we'd be doing with it, but knew we had to find a use. Here's a pic of Nino looking majestic yet tired on unloading day:
The next step: What to do with this wood. It was mostly Poplar, in strips anywhere between 1-2" wide. This was not in our wheelhouse.
We love working with reclaimed wood. We love pulling up the flooring from an abandoned house, planing off 50 years of accumulated grime, carpet glue, and shellac, only to find beautifully figured Birdseye Maple, or Quarter Sawn Oak with iridescent ray flecks...the kind of stuff that doesn't exist anymore at any price.
Poplar is not exactly that. Normally, it's sold as a "paint grade" hardwood. You'd buy it if you're on a budget, or if you know the guy at the Home Depot Paint Desk. It soaks up wood stain more than anything else we've used. Let's just say it's not the prettiest wood on the shelf. It's great quality, strong stuff, it's just not a looker.
So...it sat on our shelf. We used a bit of it here and there, for small personal projects, before realizing what this wood was meant to be. Our first project using it was this bed:
Our client wanted a subtle pattern, with a deep black black black finish. Poplar's unique stain-soaking abilities were perfect!
Once we started working with this wood and not against it, we found that it was beautiful in it's own unique way.
We knew that we wanted to make picture frames with it as well...we had been considering a line of smaller, skinnier frames for quite some time, and realized that this Poplar could be perfect. We love working with color, and wanted to try something new.
We didn't want the natural look of the Poplar (which, let's face it, is kind of boring), but also didn't want to be limited to solid colors...and then it hit us. Let's not use one color, let's use all the colors!
Soon, this exquisite line of marbled picture frames will be available on our website, and in our retail store. We can't wait to share them with you!!!