We've been chatting with John from Taran Eco Designs and... what a story...
"8 years ago we were offered wood from a wind blown Oak tree. After meeting Ken and Lisa, on whose land the tree blew down, we found out a little more of its story. It was within a 100 meters of the home of the historical figure Mary Jones, who walked bare footed the 26 miles to Bala at the age of 16 to get a copy of the Welsh bible.
After getting the timber back to the workshop and cleaning up a section of the grain, we were able to count the number of rings on the tree. It was a little over 200 years old. This was the time when Mary lived there. Did Mary plant the seed, did she sit under its shade, were a few of the stories coming to mind. We also found blue stains in the wood at it's age of 100 years old from iron which was introduced into the wood. Was it a nail to hang a sign, a bullet from a hunter's off aim? The trees story was getting richer and richer.
Due to the thickness of the timber it took 6 years to season the wood. Air drying it slowly so that it did not crack too much, and making it stable enough to build furniture and art work that wouldn’t crack when taken into a centrally heated home. Over the past 2 years we have been making coffee tables, swings, and many pieces of pyrography with the timber. Using each and every piece. We have even made light pulls with the very smallest offcuts. One piece of furniture found its way to a home which already had a slight connection. During the summer Phill and Helen came into our studio to buy a coffee table. There were 2 tables and they were having difficulty deciding which one they preferred. One was made from this Oak. On telling them story of it's history, Helen said that her mother had played Mary Jones at a school play. This synchronicity helped them to decide on this table which now is in their living room. Another time on a trip back from Stonehenge for the summer solstice we got the inspiration to make a pyrography drawing of a labyrinth. This symbol is often used to mark the end of a pilgrimage fitting in with Mary's walk. We entered this piece in the yearly art competition in Machynlleth’s Museum of Modern Art where it was bought by a visiting German Family and the story has now travelled a little further. The pilgrimage continues".