The Craft: Salvaging Reclaimed Teak Wood in Indonesia

Jul 2, 2014

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EQ3′s Reclaimed Teak collection has been a customer, and an in-house favourite, since it was first introduced to the EQ3 product line in the Fall of 2012. The collection began with a few pieces for the living room, and has since expanded to include casegoods for the bedroom and dining room, as well. Natural variations in the wood’s pattern and colour ensure that no two designs are alike.

 

Recently, a customer reached out to us about the collection. He had just purchased the Reclaimed Teak Bed and Low Dresser and wanted to know more about the salvaged wood materials that went into making his new furniture. Where does the wood originate from? What age is the wood? What is the salvaging process like, from start to finish?

 

Curiosity piqued, we sat down with EQ3′s Casegoods Product Developer Madi Cash to learn how old wood is given new life as modern furniture.

 

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Where does the wood used to construct EQ3′s Reclaimed Teak furniture originate from?

 

EQ3′s Reclaimed Teak collection is constructed with wood salvaged from the central Java region of Indonesia. The country’s hot and humid climate is perfect for growing teak and other unique wood species.

 

 

What was the wood used for in its previous life?

 

Teak is a beautiful hardwood traditionally used in Indonesia as a structural component in civic buildings and houses. As time progresses and cities evolve, many of these grand buildings and houses that were built many years ago are now being torn down. Before reclaimed woods evolved into a desirable consumer good, the original teak structure was often discarded. This is completely insane considering the inherent beauty of this material. About ten years ago, a group of individuals began re-purposing the material for smaller projects. While researching our teak stumps, we met this group and began our partnership. Since then, reclaimed woods have become more popular than fresh wood!

 

 

How old is the salvaged wood?

 

The age of the material varies and depends on the age of the building the wood was salvaged from.

 

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You experienced the salvaging process, first hand, during one of your frequent visits to Indonesia. What was this experience like?

 

Watching their process is a unique experience. Layer by layer the structure is carefully skinned, revealing massive teak beams and delicate teak door and window frames. After the material is salvaged it is then sorted into piles and subsequently laminated into useful material, each plank becoming entirely unique. The resulting planks of reclaimed teak showcase intricate and varied patterns inherent in the material. The new planks are an homage to the life the teak has led and reflect the new life it is beginning.

 

 

How does the making process behind EQ3’s Teak Wood Stools differ from the rest of the Reclaimed Teak collection?

 

The Teak Wood Stools are salvaged from the same region as our Reclaimed Teak collection. However, they are literally stumps of trees that have been cut down. Some of these trees will have been cut many years ago, and some as few as five years ago. Each stump will vary wildly from the next.

 

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You’ve worked closely with our team based in Indonesia on the development of our Reclaimed Teak collection. What are you currently working on? What’s next for the collection?

 

We have recently rounded out our collection with the introduction of the Reclaimed Teak Shelving Unit and Reclaimed Teak End Table. The collection was an evolution. It started with the Coffee Table and Plasma unit, which EQ3′s Creative Director Thom Fougere designed, and gave way to the bedroom, dining and storage pieces that I designed. It was fun to work on the collection in this way and allowed us both to put a lot of thought into each piece.

 

Right now we’re working on updates to some of the existing pieces but are just hoping that people continue to admire (and purchase!) the existing collection.

 

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Image Source: All photographs credited to Madi Cash

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