Search Results for "bell tolls"

Historic Bell Tolls for Urban Wood Display

By Rich Christianson

It’s only appropriate that Jeff Perkis’ first commissioned custom woodworking project was made with urban wood salvaged from a vicious July 2012 storm that severely crippled nearly 200 old-growth trees in Reed Kepler Park of West Chicago, IL.

Perkis used red oak milled from one of the downed trees to create a display stand for a historic train bell. It will become a permanent exhibit at the West Chicago City Museum.

A graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Perkis is an architect by trade but has taken up woodworking in a basement shop of his home in Wheaton. “The thing that happened at Reed Keppler Park and all of the trees that were storm damaged really kind of pulled me into urban wood and that’s become my woodworking niche,” Perkis said. “We were able to reclaim a lot of this urban wood for a higher purpose instead of seeing it turned into firewood or mulch.”

Perkis was commissioned by West Chicago to design and fabricate the stand for the brass bell owned by Lorenzo Coverarrulias, a long-time resident of West Chicago. Coverarrulias grew up in Guadalajara, Mexico near the Southern Pacific rail yard. The sound of train bells has always been like music to his ears. He purchased the 80-pound, 1-foot diameter bell from a Lombard salvage yard in in the early 1960s.

Trains and train bells also reserve a special place in West Chicago’s heritage. The town was once called Turner Junction among others and home to a large switching yard in serving as a major hub for freight trains that came in and out of Chicago.

Coverallulias’ bell has been displayed at West Chicago’s annual Railroad Days festival several times over the years. “In the past they either rented stands or just used makeshift 2x4s to display it,” Perkis said. “For a while they have wanted a stand built for it. Knowing that there was a log of wood available from the storm, it just seemed like a good idea that the stand be built from that wood and that the bell would be kept at the museum in West Chicago.”

Arts and Crafts’ Inspired
Perkis designed the 4-foot-wide by 4-foot-eight-inch-high stand in an arts and crafts style. “I tried to take some cues from some of the historical buildings of West Chicago. I also drew inspiration from the famous architect firm Greene & Green who were big in the arts and crafts movement around the turn of the last century.”

Perkis said red oak was a good match for the project. “Red oak is a beautiful, sturdy wood and is a favorite among furniture makers. It has a great smell when working with it,” he said. Perkis added black walnut accents to the stand. The display was expertly finished by Ken Wier, owner of i2i Design of Wood Dale. i2i specializes in the manufacture of custom furniture made with urban wood.

Both the red oak and black walnut lumber was milled by Perkis’ uncle Ron Meyers, owner of Meyers Woodworking & Lumber of Batavia. (Meyers Woodworks is among dozens of custom sawmills included in the Illinois Small Sawmill directory.)

Meyers also supplied lumber salvaged from the savage storm to the ITT Technology Architecture & Furniture course taught by Associate Professor Paul Pettigrew. Perkis, who helped instruct some of those classes, estimated that some 200 objects have been made from the reclaimed urban wood over the last three years.

“I grew up playing baseball, football and soccer at Reed Keppler Park,” Perkis said. “When I was working on the stand, I found myself wondering which tree exactly this wood may have come from. I felt and still do feel very proud that I was able to give this wood from such a devastating event a chance to continue to be enjoyed by the community. I hope this will help others see that there is an opportunity for a higher use of wood from our own backyards.”

Read related press release.



IllinoisUrbanWood’s Top 10 Countdown

By Rich Christianson

The eyes have it!

The final votes are in and the Top 10 most-viewed posts on IllinoisUrbanWood.org are known.

Activity on the Illinois Urban Wood Utilization Team’s website finished 2016 with 7, 349 visitors who clicked through 17,412 pages. Both of these totals are more than double that of 2015.

Here’s a quick reverse-order recap of the most popularly viewed posts last year.

10. Video: Tom The Sawyer Mills Black Walnut for Figure
Tom Hogard, aka Tom The Sawyer, of Eudora, KS, demonstrates how to maximize the figure of logs with “flaws” including sweep or crotches. Read more.

9. Woodworking Enthusiasts Get a Taste of Urban Wood
Woodworkers of all ages get an opportunity to craft products from wood salvaged from Chicago Park District trees. Read more.

8. Historic Bell Tolls for Urban Wood Display
Jeff Perkis used red oak milled from one of the downed trees to create a display stand for a historic train bell. It will become a permanent exhibit at the West Chicago City Museum. Read more.

7.  Illinois Sawmill Directories Updated
The Forestry Division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources recently released a pair of newly updated sawmill directories, one featuring custom sawyers and the other dedicated to stationary sawmilling operations. Read more.

6. Passions Flow at IWF Urban Wood Seminar
Three presenters – representing three very diverse business models – chorused their praise for urban wood during a unique seminar held Aug. 26 at the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta. Read more.

5. Diverse Audience Unites at Urban Wood Event
Arborists, foresters, sawyers, architects, woodworkers and other professionals came together at the Bringing the Urban Wood Full Circle Conference to learn and share ideas for propelling the urban wood market. Read more.

4. Couple ‘Sacrificed Our Entire Lives’ for Urban Wood Business
Rob and Zoe Bocik left the 9-to-5 rat race six years ago to pursue their dream of milling lumber and crafting furniture, jewelry and other products from local trees otherwise destined for the chipper or landfill. Read more.

3. Arborist Pursues His Passion with Urban Wood Start-up
Dobnick Timberworks has joined the Illinois urban wood  movement, opening up a lumber and custom wood products business in Oswego, IL. Read more.

2. Urban Wood Products Showcase Winners Strut Their Stuff
The Urban Wood Products Showcase, featured at the March 2016 Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference, shined a bright spotlight on the design creativity of the entries that ranged from tables and wall hangings to a bell stand and soccer ball all crafted from urban wood. Read more.

1. First Release: Urban Wood User’s Resource Guide
A new national directory dedicated to helping connect tree care professionals, sawyers, woodworkers and other urban wood enthusiasts was recently released by the Urban Forest Full Circle Network. Read more.



Blogs

02/09/17 – Got Urban Wood News? Share It!

01/02/17 – IllinoisUrbanWood’s Top 10 Countdown

12/12/16 – Book Chronicles Urban ‘Wood to Table’ Movement

11/13/16 – IL WUT’s Global Reach

11/07/16 – Got Urban Wood News? Share It!

09/14/16 – Let’s Make Urban Wood a Household Name

07/26/16 – IWF Urban Wood Seminar Sponsors Help Spread the ‘Word’

05/21/16 – Great News! Urban Wood Shines in WI Hotel Makeover

02/15/16 – Thank You Urban Wood Conference Supporters!

01/28/16 – Daily Double Discount: Hardwood Lumber & Urban Forest Events

11/29/15 – Five Top Reasons to Sponsor the Bringing the Urban Forestry Full Circle Conference

10/29/15 – Keep Spreading the News!

09/23/15 – Woodworking Enthusiasts Get a Taste of Urban Wood

08/25/15 – Historic Bell Tolls for Urban Wood Display

06/23/15 – Photo Gallery: Color Point Greenhouse Operations

06/14/15 – Color Point Pushes Sustainable Wood Usage with Wood-Fired Greenhouse

06/05/15 –  Hats Off to an Urban Wood Pioneer



Contact Us / Newsletter

il-wut-newsletter-11-16Got a Good Urban Wood Story to Share?
Then tell us about it. We’re always on the look out for news and features about urban wood use to post on this site and feature in our monthly newsletter.

Share your news, join our newsletter or contact us at info@illinoisurbanwood.org.

ILLINOIS URBAN WOOD UPDATE NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES

FEB 2017 – Video: Be a Smart Ash, Denver!; Horigan Urban Forest Products Relaunches Website; TV News Features Restore’s Rescued Wood  Project; Repurposing Urban Wood Waste as Biomass

JAN 2017 – TCIA Terminates Urban Forest Use ANSI Project; Oak Park Learning Center Goes LEED Platinum; Wisconsin Restore Mills Urban Wood; Top 10 Posts of 2016

DEC 2016 – Book Chronicles Urban ‘Tree to Table’ Movement; Dobnick Timberworks Launches; Cover Treatment for Wisconsin Urban Wood

NOV 2016 – Focus on Urban Wood Businesses: David Stein Custom Woodworking; Urban Lumber of Kansas City, MO; and Urban Hardwoods of Seattle

OCT 2016 – Scenes from the 34th Illinois Arborist Association Convention; TigerStop Embraces Urban Wood Message; Webcast Captures Urban Wood Activities in Six States

SEP 2016 – Chicago Woodworker Taps Chicago’s Urban Forest; Let’s Make Urban Wood a Household Name; Cotinummunity Firewood

AUG 2016 – Urban Wood User’s Resource Guide Released; IWF Seminar a Great Success; UrbanWoodExchange.org Launches; Milling Black Walnut for Figure Video

JUL 2016 – IWF Seminar Aims to Demystify Urban Wood Use; Sterling Lumber Wins Two Awards

JUN 2016 – Urban Wood Directory Listings Sought; Chicago Botanic Garden Exhibit

MAY 2016 – Urban Wood Stars in IWF Seminar; Couple ‘Sacrificed Our Lives’ for Urban Wood Business

APR 2016 – Urban Wood Products Showcase Photo Galleries; Urban Wood at Canadian A&D Show

MAR 2016 – Full Circle Conference Wrap Up; Urban Wood Products Showcase Winners

FEB 2016 – Widespread Support for Bringing the Urban Forest Circle Event; ASLA & AIA Offer CEUs

JAN 2016 – Urban Wood Conference Topics Go Full Circle; An Urban Wood Boardwalk

DEC 2015 – Registration Opens for Urban Wood Conference; IL Sawmill Directory Being Updated

NOV 2015 – IL Wood Utilization Team Tours Bernhard Woodwork; Top Reasons to Sponsor Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference

OCT 2015 – IL Drops EAB Quarantine; IL WUT Attends IAA Event

SEP 2015 – Urban Wood Conference Set for March 18, 2016

AUG 2015 – Historic Bell Tolls for Urban Wood; WUT Makes Waves on Chicago Radio

JUL 2015 – Illinois WUT Receives Grant; Color Point Bioenergy Tour

Winter 2011 – Illinois Urban Wood News



Urban Wood Showcase: Furniture

ILWUT_LogoForm meets function with these inspirational furniture projects crafted from community trees and featured in the Urban Wood Products Showcase, a popular component of the March 18 Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference at Hamburger University in Oak Brook, IL. The event was organized by the Illinois Wood Utilization Team.

Wade Ellis of Ellis Custom Sawmilling and Woodworking crafted a cherry chest that garnered the most votes in the People’s Choice awards for the Furniture Category. A bell stand primarily crafted from white oak salvaged storm-damaged trees was second in the voting by conference participants.

Read more about each of these way cool Urban Wood Products Showcase entries.

Train Bell Stand
Jeff Perkis, Owner, Story Wood

Materials Used: Red oak, walnut and metal

Urban Wood Source: Storm-damaged trees from Reed Keppler Park of West Chicago, IL, acquired after storm of July 2012. Milled and kiln dried by Ron Meyers and myself in West Chicago. 

Theme/purpose: The City of West Chicago commissioned Perkis to create this 4-foot tall, solid red oak bell stand with walnut accents, sturdy enough to hold the approximately 80-pound train bell, which has been at the center of the spirited historical re-enactment of El Grito de la Independencia or the Cry of Independence. Perkis became aware of the need for a suitable bell stand from Lorenzo Covarrubias who holds the distinction of being West Chicago’s Patron de la Campana, or Patron of the Bell, and has offered the use of his bell for West Chicago’s El Grito for the past 23-years. Perkis designed the bell stand in the arts and crafts style of many of the homes in the area and was influenced by architect brothers Greene and Greene. He presented the stand at a public ceremony at the West Chicago City Museum attended by the mayor and art patrons. The sawdust will be used to make paper on which he will print the details of the stand’s creation so that it will “tell its story” for future generations. Read related article.

MSU Shadows Collection W- Leg Table
Nathan Shaver

Material Used: American elm

Urban Wood Source: The tree was grown on the campus of Michigan State University, and was taken down due to disease. The Department of Forestry’s Sustainable Wood Recovery Team milled and dried the lumber on campus. Local wood worker, Nathan Shaver was commissioned to build the piece for the MSU Shadow’s Collection.

Theme/Purpose: The MSU Shadows Collection has been created as part of the Sustainable Wood Recovery Initiative at Michigan State University. MSU Shadows collectibles are made from salvaged trees that are removed from campus due to decline, storm damage or construction. Trees are milled into lumber and kiln dried by MSU’s Department of Forestry. The lumber is sent to Michigan-based artisans who design and craft the items. Purchases of these handmade collectibles enhance campus sustainability through tree planting initiatives on campus, and supports student educational programs in forestry and urban wood recovery.

“Love Seat” Bench
Ron Meyers, Meyers Woodworking & Lumber, Batavia, IL

Material Used: Tree of Heaven

Urban Wood Source: Meyers Woodworking and lumber. I intervened on just another local tree heading to the dump.

Theme/purpose:  This is a small bench intended for a couple having to sit close, a love seat, to be used in a setting somewhere overlooking God’s great creations. This is why I chose The Tree of Heaven for the material.

Ebonized Elm Sofa Table
Eric Beauchamp, Beau Bois Custom Creations of Evanston, IL

Material Used: Kiln dried American elm

Urban Wood Source: Homeowners Felled Tree / Horigan Urban Forest Products. A mature American elm of an estimated age of over 130 years was cared for as the centerpiece of a garden in Evanston for over 100 years. It had been regularly inoculated against disease but to be removed as a safety precaution. The tree was felled by the arborist who had cared for it.

Some of the wood is being used to grow shitake mushrooms. Large limbs and the main trunk 14.5’ in length and 4.5’ in average diameter were taken to Horrigan Urban Forest Products where is was milled to preserve its unique character. Lumber from this tree is still available.  More information can be found at http://www.arborigin.com

Theme/purpose: This project was created to explore the uses of Urban-sourced American elm in art and furniture. This American elm puzzle sofa table top was created from 12 individual interlocking pieces to create the top. After assembly, the top was ebonized utilizing quebracho bark powder and iron acetate which reacts with the natural tannins to blacken the surface of the wood, while revealing the grain and character of the wood.

Oak/Cherry Coffee Table
Mike Dimitroff, Manager of Art Initiatives, Chicago Park District

Materials Used: Oak and cherry

Urban Wood Source: Chicago Park Tree. I saw this piece in the discard pile of a forestry truck after a day in the field. It was a piece that was sheared off of a trunk and had interesting tear and break features.

Theme/purpose: To utilize a broken or featured part of a felled park tree to create and interesting artifact.

I took the sheared section of a trunk and tooled it to match the natural split and shear characteristics. The result is an insect-shaped abdomen floating on three wild cherry legs.

“Furnerector Set” Table
Paul Pettigrew, Architect & Associate Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology

Materials Used: Urban white oak. Finish is a hand applied and rubbed water-based polyurethane. The legs are perforated anodized aluminum, the table-top stand-offs are anodized aluminum tubing. Fasteners are stainless steel.

Urban Wood Source: Reed Kepler Park & Ron Meyers Woodworking & Lumber

Theme/ purpose: Design Indeterminacy/”Furnerector Set” table explores the idea of indeterminate outcome. How might I design a functional object whose final form and aesthetic are beyond my final design control. The project’s four metal legs and hardware allow for urban wood components to be rearranged, added, subtracted and altered over time. The possible future permutations are infinite and depend on the final user’s preferences both today and tomorrow.

Design indeterminacy is seen as the antithesis of what I was taught as an architecture student and architect, i.e. I arrive at a final design, I make a set of construction drawings and the project is built as drawn. Design indeterminacy grows out of my interest in vernacular architecture and vernacular architecture’s tradition of multiple generations, continuously adding onto and altering structures over time.  Recently, I have watched many of my architectural projects get altered, renovated and/or modified without my input. As an architect, I have completed projects that have altered the work of previous architects with my only having the vaguest of clues as to what the original architect might have intended. Alteration, renovation and modification can remain “out of the control” of the architect/designer or the architect/designer can make future alteration, renovation and modification part of the initial design. By making alteration, renovation and modification part of the original design and providing future change-makers clues, invitations and/or encouragements for the future, I am hoping that my work will have a longer life whether it lives on in its original form or a future form anticipated by me, the works original designer.