Matthieu Leblanc

Stories Arbutus Ottoman

While hiking a beach on the Gulf Islands I came upon an ottoman-size piece of driftwood. Upon a closer examination, I realized it was arbutus – a great find. 45 minutes later I was securing the wood to my retrieved external frame backpack. Taking my time, I inched my way along the rocks with about 125 pounds on my back until I made it over the last beach logs and to my truck. 


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After a drying period, I began sanding and discovered that the wood had spalted - adding darker and lighter colours to its tone. This is when the piece of arbutus really began to reveal some of its mysteries.

After many more hours of sanding, oiling and working the wood, it became clear - this deep brown red stump, covered with natural black lines created by the spalting process, had become a beautiful Ottoman. A piece of furniture that has a real tribal feel to it and that encompasses the charisma I glimpsed on the beach that first day.