After years of working in custom cabinetry, Paul Farrington wanted to try something that involved working with wood in a more creative way. A few years back, Farrington, who runs the cabinetry shop for Holmes Hole Construction, started crafting one-of-a-kind pieces from wood reclaimed from felled trees or salvaged from construction projects around the Island. His coffee tables, end tables, chests, and mirrors all spotlight the various types of material he uses in its raw form, letting the beauty of the wood speak for itself.
Farrington creates his unique pieces using a variety of styles of woodworking. Tabletops are crafted using live-edge pieces — thick slices that are left uncut at the edges so that they show the natural shape of the tree. He often uses actual tree stumps as bases. More engineered parts of his creations are carefully sawn to coax out the individual beauty of the wood grain, creating a rustic appeal.
“Working as a cabinetmaker for a high-end contractor, the designs are not mine,” Farrington says. “They’re all squared off, and white or off-white — more conventional. That doesn’t express the beauty and the wonder in the wood that I see from day to day. To me, even though the wood is no longer alive, it still has so much vitality. I want it to shine for itself.”
When Farrington first started sourcing wood from trees that had either fallen down or were taken down for safety reasons, he was surprised at the interesting arboreal variety to be found on the Island. He uses wood from a number of different local species. “One of the things I really think is terrific is how some of these woods age. There are some really strong streaky colors and patterns from spalting [wood coloration caused by fungi]. I love the combination of colors and textures, and the way the wood grain presents flow.”
Farrington also sources antique wood from tear-down or renovation jobs, and even sometimes incorporates material that he salvaged from old ships during his days as a boatbuilder. “It’s all waste wood that would either go into a dump or a pit,” he says. “I love that I can give it a second life.” spiritoftreemv.com.