I sat on the kitchen floor of my tiny 600 sq ft apartment, covered in saw dust, breathing in paint fumes, and surrounded by reclaimed wood I had rescued from the flea market. In that moment I knew that, whatever you call the mess I was making, it was much more than a hobby.
I realized I was trying to create a sense of “home” by bringing out the beauty in these hidden treasures and giving them new life. This was not the result of too many episodes of Flea Market Flip and Fixer Upper (well, not just that). The year before I lost my amazing Mom to a sudden and devastating battle with cancer. It still didn’t feel real at times because Mama B (as she was know to so many) exuded life. She was a walking talking sense of “home,” giving everyone around her warmth, strength, support, shelter, steadiness, and a deep genuine care and love that was at her very core.
And so I found myself surrounded by wood, because it somehow represented so many of those qualities - having a piece of it felt like having a little piece of home. But painting or staining just wasn’t right. There was something missing. That is where fire comes in. After seeing a short video on the Shou Sugi Ban technique and after a somewhat scary trip to Home Depot I was mesmerized. Fire brought elements of heat, discovery, depth, color, texture, and permanence.
I wanted to capture that feeling, that depth. Imagine being able to freeze a moment next to a crackling fire, or the togetherness around a good meal. Running your fingers over the dents on a favorite mantle or table, each one a memory. We want to hold still the familiar creak of an old floorboard in a house long forgotten and represent the tiny island of comfort that is an old chair sitting in the corner of a brand new house just waiting for your next visit.
That is what finished by fire means to us. Infusing each piece with warmth, possibilities, of memories gone by and new ones to come. No two pieces are ever the same. Each has their own character and quirks. By using flame we get to scrape away some of the surface and see what is underneath. Let the deepest, hardest, most stubborn parts stay while showing the pristine softness of the wood around it.
At Maison B we want you to share in that warmth. To take with you something that is better because it has a story. Something that is made to hold memories and pass them on.
Maison B pieces Wood are deeply beautiful, endlessly different, and only the better for a life long lived. Please enjoy the warmth of wood and fire.