For most Coloradans – a reflection of 2020 looks a lot like staying home and exploring the breathtaking wilderness of the Rockies. With more time on our hands than ever and the seemingly infinite number of outdoor activities right in our backyard – chances are you’ve recently found yourself within the trees. Maybe it was on a hike through the tall pines in the foothills or on a stroll in autumn when the yellow aspens cascade over enormous boulders. No matter the time of the year – there’s something enchanting about an escape to the forest in Colorado.
Shop owners Francis and Loretta Eggleton are no strangers to these iconic woods. In fact – they’ve built an entire business around the concept of “Forest to table.” In a quaint brick and mortar on 22nd and Welton is their community woodshop called I Made It. A community workshop for those looking to get creative with their earthy-side.
Because trees are a part of unique ecosystems and a natural habitat to many species – harvesting exotic wood can have a costly effect on the environment. Not to mention – it’s also expensive. At I Made It – sustainability is top priority as is the ecological community of the Front Range. “We’re all about keeping it local to minimize our footprint. I Made It mills all of the wood we use in the shop on Colorado’s Front Range. That’s why we call our process “Forest to Table!” I Made It states.
By responsibly harvesting wood from the Front Range – the woodshop accomplishes two things – healthy local forests and a smaller carbon footprint. Some of the local wood found at I Made It include Elm, Cherry, Walnut, Russian Olive, Black and Honey Locust and Black Forest Burn Scar from Colorado Springs.
When it comes to customer creativity – I Made It encourages you to think outside of the wooden box. From coffee and dinner tables to charcuterie boards and wine racks – your options are endless. You can even schedule a date night to make your very own wedding rings. However, at I Made It – tables are a specialty.
The time and cost to build a wooden masterpiece at the workshop are dependent upon the project you choose to make. To make a table for example – often requires 6 to 12 hours of dedicated time in the shop – which equates to three to six visits. Part of the process includes trimming, gluing and clamping, sanding and applying an epoxy resin also known as a wood filler. The final touch is designing, building and applying a base and legs.
Adding a crystal-clear blue, river-like design to your design is another unique way to spruce up your project. To apply resin requires an additional four to six hours in the woodshop. While somewhat tedious and time-consuming – the final outcome is certainly one to marvel at. Resembling the vibrant alpine lakes sought by mountaineers – there’s an element of nostalgia in the pairing of these beautiful wood strains and resin. Not to mention the sense of pride and satisfaction of knowing you hand-crafted it.
I Made It woodshop is located in the Five Points neighborhood of Denver. The shop is open from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends and closed on Monday. For more information and to book a class – visit the I Made It website here.