A custom steel furniture business is custom-made to embrace this new approach.
Going green is all the rage these days. Some are doing it for the earth. Some are doing it for public relations. Some are doing it purely out of necessity. I’m doing it for a bunch of reasons.
Reduce what you use, increase what you earn.
When you work for yourself like I do, you keep track of every penny. Being wasteful isn’t really an option. Because it isn’t just your bottom line, it’s your ass. So I make sure I maximize every cut, minimize my waste and if I think I can use the scrap on a future project, I save it. The pieces I can’t use I take to a recycle center – about a bucket’s worth every couple months.
Reuse what you have – and what you find
I embrace the challenge of trying to find a use for everything I come in contact with, much like the Native Americans and how they used every part of the buffalo! For example, if I use the threaded part of a bolt for a mounting bracket, I’ll save the head of that bolt and use it later as an eye or a rivet element. I’m also not above going through the dumpsters of the warehouse where my studio is looking for scraps of beautiful hardwoods that can become the tops of footstools or shelves in a cabinet. Not only is it a smart, environmentally-conscious approach to saving the planet and some money along the way, but it also makes everything I make a little more interesting.
Recycle: Giving new life to old pieces
I love using old, ornate things to add a dramatic element or a bit of history to my pieces. I often incorporate salvaged heating grates into my table tops or box lids. They look gorgeous and deserve to have a second life, lifted up off the floor and brought up to a level where their beauty can be truly appreciated.
And it can go far beyond heating grates – claw feet from bath tubs, old door knobs, doors from an old furnace, steps off a fire truck, almost anything. And if it has a special meaning or a family history to it, it will add an even deeper meaning to your custom piece. If you have an old piece of gorgeous, decorative iron that sits in the basement because you’ve never known what to do with it; or an antique, wooden table top with no legs we should chat. Because if it looks good, is in good shape we can find a new life for it.
Reduce, reuse and recycle in the steel furniture business may not be as flashy or trendy as driving a hybrid car, but its impact can be the same and the end results are a bit more tangible that a slightly smaller hole in the O-zone layer.