What Lies Within

What Lies Within

From Firewood to Furniture
By Ali Hinchcliffe

The trees that make it to Baraboo Woodworks were destined for a different fate: pulp, firewood, or mulch.

But furniture maker Matt Hegge sees something more in them.

“Each piece has its own characteristics and it’s a ton of fun to try to bring out as many of them in the finished piece as we can,” Hegge says

Indeed, these craftsmen unveil the timber’s ringed heart, transforming it into heirloom furniture.

“It’s pretty hard to put value on something that your kids can eat their Froot Loops at on Saturday mornings and inherit from you when you’re ready to give it to them,” Hegge says.

Former state Rep. Fred Clark started the downtown Madison business and Hegge, Josh Rice and Mike Breezee now run it.

The trees were felled because they’re a safety hazard, are diseased or injured. The shop has white oak, cherry, walnut and ash (often killed by Emerald Ash Borers), along with unusual varieties such as honey locust, hackberry and catalpa. Sometimes customers use a tree from their backyard, but most choose from the Woodworks stock.

Each piece is a chance for discovery, Hegge says.

“Every tree is kind of like a geode. You don’t know what you’re going to find until you start cutting. It almost never disappoints us.” Baraboowoodworks.com.

 

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