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That’s The Beauty Of Wood By Dave Halliday
kay, look around you. How many pieces of furniture, trim, cabinetry, etc. do you see that are printed with a phoney wood grain on what is most likely a manufactured pressboard? Why do we go to such lengths to provide the appearance of wood grain on all of these items? The beautiful look of items comprised of natural wood is undeniable. The many different species of trees allows for variation in textures, colours, and feel. It’s difficult to recreate or improve upon the natural beauty of wood, which is one of the reasons why our expert’s take on things for this article makes it all the more original and inspired. Plus he runs an Essex County business — perfect for this special edition of Biz X! Meet Craig Forget, Owner and Maker at CARPENTER CRAIG.INC, one of those unique individuals who sees things a little differently when it comes to the appeal of wood. During Forget’s 24 years in the finish carpentry industry and nine years in the artworld side of things, he has developed the ability to see the possibilities and beauty in wood materials that others may have deemed as expendable. Forget has an appointment only showroom located at 948 Lakeshore Road 107 in Essex, with more information on: CraigForget.com about his work and photos of his collections. This local Reclaimed Wood Artist has been shipping his products all over the world for many years and now it’s time Essex County residents learn more about him! What is it that you do? “I offer reclaimed wood wall art, including large and small pieces for residential homes, businesses and hospitality spaces,” indicates Forget.
Reclaimed Wood Artist Craig Forget shows off one of his favourite pieces, “Chicago Cityscape,” created as a company sign for a customer in Chicago. Photo courtesy of the artist.
“I also do a lot of custom pieces based on the customer’s desires and custom company logos and signs made entirely out of wood or a combination of wood and metal, depending on the intended space.” What drew you to working with existing and reclaimed materials for your work? “Working with reclaimed wood materials is very environmentally friendly; and because I have such a passion for the outdoors and nature, I try to reuse things that people do not find any value in,” states Forget. “What I like most about reclaimed wood is the character and colours that it portrays when it has been aged and weathered for so many years; it is something that cannot be replicated.” How do you find the materials you incorporate into your pieces? “Most of the wood I get is from local barns, homes, old fences and other discarded wood,” he informs us. “I work with a lot of local people that take down old buildings for a living. Over the years, I have established a lot of connections for reclaimed wood materials.” How old are some of the materials you
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incorporate into your work? “The wood I use ranges from five to 140 years in age,” replies Forget. “I believe there is great historical significance in a lot of the wood I use. I am sharing a little bit of Windsor and Essex County history with each piece of art that I create.” How does your work benefit from the reclaimed materials you use? “My work benefits greatly from the varying textures and character that old reclaimed wood has to offer” he comments. “It makes each piece original and one of a kind that is not easily replicated and Mother Nature does a great job in creating such a broad palette for me to work with.” Do you incorporate materials other than wood? Forget points out: “I also use metal in my pieces that I design and have laser cut from a local business.” What factors are involved as you begin to conceive one of your creations? “The primary factor is always — what type of emotion or character do I want my piece to possess?” he replies. “Do I want the piece to be calming or lively? Do I want the piece to be reminiscent of a place or object?” He continues by stating, “There are also abstract ideas like my light wavelength piece that looks different depending on lighting and angle.” It truly is inspiring to think Forget’s work is not only creative and beautiful, but it assists in ensuring that used materials are not just automatically dumped in the landfill. Hanging a piece of his work in your office or home allows you to possess a piece of local history that is fashioned into an original art work and conversation piece, while also being environmentally responsible.