An Interview with Our Founder: The Spirit of Old Growth Forests

An Interview with Our Founder: The Spirit of Old Growth Forests

Discover the passion and inspiration behind Provenance Made knives in this insightful interview with the founder and artisan. Learn about his deep connection to old growth forests and how their enduring beauty and spirit infuse every creation.

Q: Why do you love old growth forests?

A: Old growth forests represent endurance, longevity, and serenity to me. When you walk into a forest of ancient trees, you experience a profound sense of peace and spirituality. These trees have survived enormous challenges, and their permanence offers a stability that contrasts with the impermanence of modern life.

Q: What were your first experiences with old growth forests? How did you first come to know and love them?

A: My love for old growth forests began in my childhood in a small logging town in Washington state. I was captivated by black and white photographs of massive old growth trees, which I immediately realized were irreplaceable. Visiting these forests was an enchanting, spiritual experience that left a lasting impression on me.

Q: What is it like to be in an old growth forest? What’s the experience like?

A: In western Washington, where I'm most familiar with these forests, it is very wet. The sunlight barely penetrates the canopy, and there is minimal undergrowth. You're amongst these huge tree trunks, with incredible bark textures and a thick, plush forest floor. If you stop and really look, you will see so much biodiversity in an old growth forest ecosystem, with trees, insects, fauna, fungi and various plants all feeding off one another and existing in harmony. 

Q: Why do you care about saving old growth forests?

A: These forests survived fires, droughts, and hurricane-force winds, but they were gone in the blink of an eye when people came along and cut them down. You'll never see the replenishment of an old growth forest in our lifetime because they take centuries to grow and develop. I feel a deep responsibility to protect and preserve these ancient wonders.

Q: How does your respect and admiration for old growth forests play a role in your woodworking?

A: There's an appreciation for what wood has to offer. I see the beauty and history in every piece of wood, and I feel a responsibility to honor the stories they have to tell. I've always had a significant reverence for things that have come before me, whether that's people, places, or trees.

Q: Why do you choose to upcycle, using reclaimed pieces of rare and exotic woods to make your art?

A: I use reclaimed wood because there's a character in these older trees that I find inspiring. I like the story of a piece of wood that's gone through many iterations of life and use, and I want to continue its story by turning it into a viable contribution to our lives.

Q: What do you really want people to experience when they are using your knives?

A: I want them to know that these pieces have a spirit of their own. They have a story of their own. They've seen more years than any of us ever will. I want people to appreciate what these trees have given to us and to feel the history—the provenance, if you will—when they hold one of my knives in their hands.

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