20 Jul, 2019
There is magic in reclaimed timber. When creating furniture with recycled wood the product is authentic. There is a beauty that cannot be replicated with new timber. A soul resides in each piece. There was once a time when old timber would be burned instead of recycled but as our knowledge of ecology grew, and the world became aware of sustainable living, the wood was salvaged and recycled timber quickly became a sensation.
Eureka Street Furniture made its name in the 80s and 90s by utilising reclaimed timbers from some of Brisbane’s most well known landmarks. Timber was salvaged from places like Brett’s wharf, the Rialto Theatre in West End and the old Coca-Cola factory. Stunning pieces of décor were constructed from the wood and Eureka’s brand became synonymous with expertly crafted solid timber with a soul.
Today Eureka Street’s customers still love hearing the stories from where the timber was sourced. The Nandi and Kahsmir range for example, Eureka’s Bohemian line, is made from the timber of 200-year-old Indian boats. Each piece is marked with history, its journey is recorded in the patina.
When the timber is first received it is very worn, it has weathered the test of time and it is hard to imagine that it could ever be used again. The timber comes in forms of columns, trusses, beams, each one unique. There are of course imperfections; knots, splits, grooves, stains but it is in these marks that the true beauty is found. This is where the character resides.
The process involved in resurfacing these reclaimed woods is incredibly difficult. A particular skill is required, along with an inherent knowledge of how to handle salvaged timber. First you have to de-nail the wood, an enormous yet intricate job. The nails are gently coached out, always being careful not to damage the integrity of the timber. Once de-nailed each table is made by hand using time honoured techniques and simple tools. All timbers are different, so the practices are varied. The result is a piece of furniture that is special, it has its own story, its own soul, it speaks to you.
There is not an infinite amount of this salvaged wood, there is a limit to how much we can use so the pieces have an intrinsic value. As time goes by, and more knocks appear in the furniture, the story continues, and the character grows. There is a real magic in old wood.