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Sometimes there’s nothing sadder than seeing a fallen tree, especially one that is over 300 years old. That said, not every fallen tree must decay into the ground, and that’s exactly the philosophy that Lydiard Park in Wiltshire has taken to a tree that fell in last year’s winter storms.
The tree, which was believed to have been one of the oldest Walnut’s in the UK, had lived through two world wars, was born before Napoleon and survived throughout the entire reign of Queen Victoria and quite possibly throughout the reign of every other British Monarch in history with the exception of Queen Elizabeth II.
After succumbing to the dreadful winter storms of 2013 however, all was not lost as local craftsman Simon Webb decided that the tree was not to be wasted, and has created a batch of limited edition heavyweight pens using wood taken from the trunk.
Ian Surtees, Income Generation Manager at Lydiard, said to a local newspaper:
“The new Lydiard walnut pens are beautiful and form part of our expanding limited edition product range we are developing to reflect the natural beauty and high quality of the Lydiard estate.”
“The first Lydiard Walnut pen is an attractive heavyweight ballpoint pen featuring a hand-turned and finished body made from the 300-year-old walnut.”
“Once turned and sanded, the wood then has 20 coats of clear acrylic applied and polished back to a dipped in glass finish.”
“The acrylic finish not only enhances the beauty of the wood but also protects it.”
“Finished in gun metal and platinum plating, the pen is presented in a high quality black velvet case and comes with a certificate of authentication and will retail at £75.”
“While it is extremely sad to lose the tree, we are pleased to preserve the remaining valuable wood in this way.”
“Each pen has its own unique character and includes original timber so it really is an exquisite collector’s piece.”
Interestingly, it is becoming more and more common for people to source driftwood and fallen trees for the use of art and furniture. Some people are even able to make full-time livings out of the art that they create.
For some ideas of your own, check out these once-fallen-trees, or some driftwood art, here. If you are especially interested in creating some driftwood art, it is important that you properly clean and dry out the wood before you begin.
Here are some tips from the professionals.
Images courtesy of Swindon Borough Council