When we visited Circle Craft this year, I came across Wineplanks and Cathy Davison (maker and owner). I really loved all the rustic bread boards and was happy to learn they were made from old wine barrels, and you know how we love repurposing with style…
Who are you and where is your studio? What is your studio like?
My name is Cathy Davison and my company is Wineplanks. I have a studio at my home in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, with a view towards the mountains and vineyards.
Where did you get the idea to make such beautiful products from recycled wine barrels?
I started wineplanks just after I moved to Canada from Australia. I was waiting for my visa and started playing around with a wine barrel my husband had bought home (he is a winemaker). 10 years on I am still creating pieces from barrels. I still get a surprise when I open a barrel and see the wood inside. Each one has a different texture, finish or colour.
Why do you hand make your products? What do you get out of it?
Ever since I was young my hands have been busy. I enjoy the process of creating a piece from scratch and the satisfaction of the customer using that piece in their home. If I am not creating something (anything!) I feel a part of me is missing.
How long does it take to make your pieces and how many barrels are used in the process?
I go through about 150 barrels a year creating my pieces (good job I live in the Okanagan!) Pieces take varying amounts of time, I always have many pieces on the go at once, when one piece is drying, I am sanding another, drilling another, putting handles on another, oiling many more….it goes on and on…..
What new products do you have in mind for 2013?
I have just started producing some black boards, the frames are made up of mosaic pieces of the staves of the barrel. I try and use as much as a barrel as possible and this was another way to create less waste and make something beautiful out of it.
How would you like your collection to grow? And where else would you like to see it sold?
I am constantly thinking up new ideas of products to create. I really enjoy that fact that as well as being beautiful, the pieces are functional and I know people get enjoyment out of using them and are not hidden in a drawer. I love having my pieces sold in a variety of stores, from gift boutiques to eco stores to wineries.
What is the best thing about what you do?
Being able to work from home is a luxury not everyone can have. Having the freedom to set my hours and to work at something that I am still passionate is about after 10 years is privilege that I don’t take for granted. And to see the excitement and pleasure that customers get when they see my work at shows is always great to get the reinforcement that what I am doing is worthwhile.
Wineplanks products can also be seen and purchased at the “One of a Kind” show in Toronto.
Good luck Cathy! Thanks for answering our questions.
Gwyn & Tamra