We love California (you probably figured that out already). It's a beautiful place and incredibly generous in what it gives us. The beautiful beaches, mountains, lakes and forests are iconic. Our identity is defined by the Pacific Ocean, the Mojave Desert, the Sierra Nevadas, the Cascades, the Bay, the Central Valley - the list is as varied as it is long. And we have this incredible relationship with our state in which what we give to it is as important as what we get. All take and no give is a recipie for a bad breakup (too much?). And, of course, what is true of California really applies to the rest of the world too - it just that we love CA best!
In an effort to hold up our end of the relationship and be good stewards of the resources we receive from our state and the world around us, we follow a few basic principles that are as imporant as they are simple.
Respect Environmental Rules: Some really smart people are doing great work in environmental research, and in understanding how human activities effect our world. We understand that the process of making things from wood directly impacts forests and other environmentally sensitive areas. The musical instrument industry in particular has a checkered history as it relates to caring for our world's forests, and as a result there are some very strict regulations regarding the use of woods from threatened and endangered tree species. We are very careful about understanding the lineage of woods we use, make every effort to build from alternative and sustainable wood species when we can.
Don't Be Wasteful: We go out of our way to use materials efficiently, getting the most we can out of the raw materials we use, generating as little waste as possible. We save off-cuts for use in piece work, we use washable shop towels in place of paper towels whenever we can, we use natural light over electric light in our shop as much as possible. Generally we just try to create as little waste as possible.
Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle: One of the best ways we have to reduce waste is to reuse (or at least recycle) things instead of throwing them away. We use a lot of material that can be recycled instead of going into a landfill, so we make sure all our recyclables get that treatment. We also go out of our way to repurpose things. You'll see lots of products in the shop made from repurposed lumber (pallets!), as well as things like our shop shirts, which are repurposed shirts from the food service industry.
CalStyle Rescues CalStyle rescues were really born at the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasedena. We love to go walk the aisles of other people's junk and hunt for treasure, and on one of these trips in 2016, Steve came across the Hawaii Uke (get the full story on the build blog). This was the first CalStyle rescue, followed by the DG60 and the Artcore, with a 1920's(?) banjo, and a classe 80's Aria Pro II waiting in the wings.
How is a rescue different from a restoration? I mean, yes, these are restorations, but what sets them apart is that the original item (usually an instrument) is something most people would write off, and probably throw away. The idea of the rescue is to take something that most people would say has little or no value because it's plain, or old, or broken (or all of the above), and to make is something special.CalStyle Restorations
Sometimes we come across pieces of unique value that simply need some restoration to bring back the beauty or usefullness they once held. While this isn't our main line of business, we hate to see a beautiful piece fall into disrepair, so we'll occasionally snap these up for restoration, and they'll appear in the online shop for sale.Urban Timber
Urban timber is wood from tress that generally have been harvested from cities and other urban areas. Urban trees need to come down for a variety of reasons from interfering with a power line, to making way for new development, to wind or storm damage, to the simple fact that a tree has reached the end of its life. For many years these trees have been burned, contributing to air pollution, or they've made their way into landfills. Recently, there has been a movement in the US to give these trees a second life as useful lumber. We've teamed up with Street Tree Revival in Anaheim, CA to help bring new life to trees that are removed from urban areas around Southern California.