Given New Life05/17/2022 12:25PM ● By Suzi Mitchell
John Sherwood works on repurposing old skis into modern works of art. | Photo by Jennifer Hilton
Nothing Goes to Waste
When John Sherwood sees an old snowboard or pair of skis, his imagination comes to life. While working at a ski shop in 2014, he saw countless skis and snowboards thrown away, and vowed to put them to better use. “Instead of throwing skis out into the dumpster I thought I’d get the creative juices flowing and see where it would take me, giving things a new life,” Sherwood says. He began creating furniture and art pieces out of these used skis and boards.
The essence of his work, Sherwood explains, lies in limiting waste. “I don’t like to cut them down and waste ski pieces,” he says. Cutting up skis and snowboards – both of which are designed to be durable – is not the easiest task. After years of struggling with a handsaw and power drill, Sherwood invested in a diamond carbide blade and diamond drill bits to cut through tough materials. He is now able to make up to 50 pieces per year.
Sherwood lets his imagination run wild with his creations, from Adirondack chairs to portable shot-skis and even art pieces he calls “SkiScapes” and “BoardScapes.” Sherwood and his fiancée, Jennifer, hope to add a personal ski-DIY flair to their upcoming wedding decor.
Through Sherwood’s business, old skis and boards will spend their retirement as outdoor furniture, rescued from an untimely end in a junkyard.
Find Sherwood’s work at the Steamboat Farmers’ Market this summer and at www.facebook.com/JRsDesignsDen
A Modern-Day Antique
Master woodworker Dennis Lodwick often strolls among fallen trees searching for material to carve into his signature furnishings. An unusual find in 2013 near Three Forks Ranch in Colorado turned into a project like no other. Lodwick stumbled upon a fallen ponderosa pine that had stood for 336 years. “It had been dead since around 2005 from beetle kill,” he says. He hauled the trunk back to his North Routt workshop, where he set about curing it. Over dinner with his close friend and part-time neighbor, sculptor David Marshall, the pair devised a collaboration. Lodwick shaped and marked a slice of the trunk in 25-year increments using brass tacks. “You have to look real closely to see them, but it was a neat process and incredible to work with such a piece of nature’s history,” he says. Marshall created the iron-and-brass legs at his studio in Spain and cast several brass inlays. The completed table was sealed with waterlock and has just been released for purchase.