Sam and Pam Ashley of SawNWood create artful designs from the Colorado forests
Nearly all of Sam and Pam Ashley’s wood pieces begin on their secluded 10-acre property near Kremmling, CO. What others might dismiss as devastated forestry, they see as potential coffee tables, wine holders or the perfect walking stick.
“I think that’s where we got our first ah-ha!” says Pam. “We are just so inspired by the Colorado mountains.”
But it’s inside the couple’s Centennial garage that these pieces are transformed into one-of-a-kind wood furniture and gifts that are sold at the local Unlisted Market.
Sam began woodworking over forty years ago in high school. Though he works full-time in construction and project management, he transformed the hobby into a small business, SawNWoods, with the help of his wife, Pam, in 2014.
The couple works with beetle kill pine and aspen, using as much of the trees as possible.
“It was disheartening to see all this beautiful wood going to waste,” says Pam. “The colors in the beetle kill pine are just phenomenal, and it makes really interesting pieces.”
Additional pieces are made of softened “Colorado driftwood,” naturally warped and weathered and later transformed by the couple’s creativity.
Many of the pieces are born from an idea of Pam’s—aided only slightly by Pinterest—and from the material they gather. Instead of seeking wood with an idea in mind, they let the material speak to them.
“We have at least 40 different products that we make,” says Sam, “so we can pick up sticks and make a walking stick out of it, or cut it up and make rustic trees or we can slice it and make a frame. We can do so many things that if we see an interesting piece of wood or something, we just get creative with what we can do with it.”
Outside of their normal-though-evolving catalogue of items, Sam completes custom orders ranging from dining tables to bar cabinets.
While Pam and Sam seemingly stumbled into this business, they wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It keeps us out of trouble,” says Pam. “And it’s just fun creating these things together.”