Practicing Ecocarpentree

I refer to myself as an ecocarpenter who practices ecocarpentree because I am drawn to wood which is irregular, has lived many lives already, and will live many more. Not only is this an ecological practice, it also reflects an observation about the universe. Just as the first law of thermodynamics states: energy can never be destroyed. In short, we live in a world where we are ourselves and are surrounded by infinite potentialities. Living is transforming. My ecocarpentree is not only an embodiment of this, but the refutation of the belief that anything can be truly discarded or is ever worthless. These discards are simply unseen, undeveloped, and/or underappreciated--from a human perspective. On the other hand, things, in and of themselves, in as much as they are what they are, require nothing other than themselves. 

 

When I began ecocarpentree, I would collect driftwood from the beaches and islands of Hong Kong. I felt appalled at the waste of potential in all the scraps of wood and other items I found on Hong Kong's many beaches. I chose to give these items new lives and purposes within the human world which had discarded and forgotten them. As such, this reclaimed and repurposed wood offers a different perspective on single use culture and speaks to the indomitable beauty of Nature and its lifespan which far outnumbers that of Humanity. 

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Tang Chau Island

One Hong Kong island which I am particularly fond of is Tang Chau. Tang Chau, or shell island, is a tiny slip of land which is prone to disappear under the shadow of tidal waves. The island is an amalgamation of shells, bones, plastics, wild vegetation, wood, and miscellaneous debris which blow about Tolo Harbour and beyond. As the painting depicts, the island is very lively and prone to movement.

Tang Chau                                   44.5 x 29 x 1.27 cm

While I no longer have the luxury of living next to an ocean, I do still find myself called to collect discarded pieces of lumber and create new pieces of furniture with them. For my part, I reveal the potential of discarded items to not only revitalize them, but to encourage everyone to reconsider the material 'cost' of living on the environment and its inhabitants. In this vein, I also enjoy restoring antiques. My Instagram page contains my most recent ecocarpentree and restoration projects #eluciousdesign. 

Above is wooden chair which I found broken on the beach and subsequently. I replaced the missing back pieces with driftwood, added paint to highlight the wood colors and grain it, added a shelf below for increased functionality and am currently adding more sculptural elements to the back. I also added a built in vase which is pictured with orange poppies in it. The chair measures 66cm wide, 90 cm high and 50 cm deep. I added casters to make the chair into the perfect office chair. 

Above is a ocean motif desk which features a lamp with built in switch, a drawer, a shelf and cubby holes for letters, etc. Also, seen here complete with mysterious unfolding box with coral pull and playful vintage deer figurines. The desk measures 45cm wide, 160 cm high and 15 cm deep.

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Above is a small coffee table with two shelves and a built in vase. This measures 60 cm high,  25 cm in depth,  40cm in width

Above is a small coffee table which flaunts its ocean carved shape. This measures 46cm high,  73cm in length,  23cm in width