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Thursday, November 3, 2016

o-CNN: Checking In With Two Birds Furniture that Makes Pieces from Recycled Lumber in Alberta Canada


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Thanks to Wikipedia we know: "The word metamorphosis derives from Greek μεταμόρφωσις, "transformation, transforming", from μετα- (meta-), "change" and μορφή (morphe), "form".

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What then do you call it when you transform a hundred-year-old barn and turn it into beautiful furniture and decorative finishes? In Okotoks, they call it: "Farm to Furniture, by the Two Birds".

Clint and Robyn Pigeon (two pigeons - birds - get it?) established the business in 2013 with a helping hand from within the community. Both were raised in rural Alberta where they cultivated an understanding and value for the importance of hard work. These are farm people. They can farm where most of the year there is only snow and ice.

Their appreciation for Alberta’s heritage and a passion for their own sparked an initiative. They wanted to reclaim the beauty of historic farms and ranches by creating heirlooms from the weathered barns and outbuildings. This leads them to the recycling old lumber and turning it into quality things that will last for generations.

The natural next step for these ageing and often unsafe structures is to be burned down. Clint mentioned that this is the way he gets to know about them. The owners usually apply for a fire permit with the Town. The Pigeons step in by negotiating the opportunity to dismantle and salvage the weathered lumber from the old buildings.

They then turn the lumber from the buildings into custom, authentic, one-of-a-kind furniture and decor, that they assure me is more affordable than I expect. What is for sure is that they turn it into quality pieces that will last another hundred years.


I asked Clint about the best part of his day. His reply: "When I am out in the open with the old barn, by myself in thought, admiring the history, appreciating the character and I realise that I am merely another step in the evolution of the story that came before, and the one that will be after." The next natural step is for Clint to make something beautiful for someone to use and appreciate.

Robyn mentioned that people appreciate the furniture because it comes with a story. I think people appreciate it because it is really beautiful, solid and something one's grandchildren will still be using decades from now.

If you have ever found two pure entrepreneurs, it is Clint and Robyn. The business started naturally with love for the material, the creative processes, the hard work that goes into creating a utility from passion and recycled old wood. They turned it into useful and beautiful items for their family and friends. All that remained was to keep doing it. Get better at it, and share it with more people.

For now, you need to get to know them personally for their custom pieces they make in a new workshop in Okotoks, Alberta. However, they assure me that more standard items will soon be available for order through their website:

We are eagerly following the story of Two Birds Furniture because we share the same values and we also have a passion and love for the history of this beautiful Province of Alberta. We will definitely be bringing you more from Two Birds Furniture in future.

Hendrik van Wyk
Birdwatching Cowboy

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