A BIG thank you!August 10, 2020
A huge heart-felt thank you to all of our clients who actively supported us during lockdown.
As it did for all our daily lives, the landscape of running a business changed dramatically in a very short space of time. At the onset of lockdown, I had to quickly postpone my paternity leave and fire fight after losing projects that were destined for France in April and then London in May and June. We had to adapt to survive with great speed; the pace of evolution has never been greater. I’m often vocal about enjoying a challenge, but that was one I’d rather have avoided – especially with sleep deprivation brought about by a new-born at home.
The frustration of having the machines laying quiet and the workbenches empty despite our ability to work safely and socially distanced was difficult to quantify. It quickly dawned on me that it was a time for deep reflection and preparation for if and when commissions picked up again. We spent time sorting and rearranging the workshop and discussing and reviewing our methods in more depth than we typically get time for. To prevent the rust from setting in too deeply, periodically the team would emerge from lockdown to brush up on our skills, practising the occasional dovetail box and exploring new steam bending techniques – as a result a new all-in-one mirror and coat hook is soon to be launched.
Prior to Covid, I was already looking into ways to re-use and reduce our waste timber. Therefore, I have started designing an eco-collection that makes the most of the weird and wonderful off-cuts of timber we have left over at the end of each project: From simple chopping/serving boards and door stops to miniature glass lined wooden vases, made in anything we can lay our hands on from burr elm to oak. We are aiming to distribute them through local farm shops and outlets at affordable prices. My aim is not just to make better use of our off-cuts but also to create a position for a young apprentice in these trying times. A selection of these items will be ready for sale at our forthcoming Open Studio, where you will have the opportunity to contribute to a good cause by buying an EJ Eco item.
We have also reduced our waste substantially by giving our Plywood and MDF to a local business to burn in a specially filtered biomass boiler system which heats their entire workplace. Alongside this we have also been recycling our wood shavings locally for composting and animal beds. As you can imagine, we are constantly producing shavings, so if you would like to help us recycle, please contact us, and we will be very happy to set some aside for you.
There is a huge heart-felt thank you to be said to all of our clients who bought pieces from our made & ready collection at the beginning of lockdown and those that have commissioned items since in response to my ‘We need you’ message. Without you there’s every chance we wouldn’t be here now. You have kept a talented team together, whole and complete. I and my team cannot thank you enough for your support.
Edward Johnson, August 2020
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