Sustainability is not just a buzzword for Issaquah resident Mike Osburn. He gets the materials for his Woodshed Production unique functional art pieces largely from local cedar salvaged after storm cleanup, beam ends that were bound for incineration before being recovered from construction sites, and pine beetle killed Ponderosa from Montana.
"When the tree dies standing upright, fungus moves in and creates blue stain that's just beautiful," Osburn says of the pine wood, which he orders annually from a friend who owns land in Osburn's home state of Montana.
"I'm interested in the sustainability of the salvaged end of it and enhancing mother nature’s beauty," he says.
Osburn has been creating benches, tables, and other functional art pieces for about ten years, but launched his small business in earnest about the time he retired from his career as a design architect.
"I’ve always been interested in woodworking, and after 40 years of designing things for other people this was a way I could express my creativity," he says.
Osburn sells his pieces at the Issaquah Farmers Market, and on web market places Meylah.com and Etsy. Osburn says he uses Meylah and the farmers market not only to sell his work--Osburn has a woodshop in Kirkland, but no retail storefront--but to support the local community. The venues often serve as referral avenues for people who might not be able to fit a certain piece in their space, but go on to have a custom dimensional piece built by Osburn.