Every tree has a story. Jack Just, owner and woodworker of Olympic Rounds, makes a point of preserving those stories with his wood round products.
Olympic Rounds sources its logs from local woodcutters across the Olympic Peninsula, who often remove trees due to safety concerns. Jack then re-purposes the wood into unique wood round products, including customized tables.
“I know where each log came from, and I like to have that on the label, sitting out, and making sure everyone knows where their piece came from,” Jack says.
On display at the Olympic Rounds booth is a stunning round table made from a Douglas Fir tree that once stood by Lake Crescent, removed for risk of falling on a home. The round has more than 200 hundred tree rings, each representing a year the tree stood over the lake shores.
Using flag indicators, Jack has mapped out the history of the Olympic Peninsula in correspondence with the Douglas Fir tree rings, marking the major events that happened within the tree’s lifespan.
“The rings on this round were super tight together, and you can see that this tree fought so hard to grow a little bit each year,” he says. “Knowing it was such an old tree and most people don’t get to have a piece of a tree from the National Park, I wanted to do something special with it.”
Jack’s journey into woodworking coincides with a special event in his life. He met his future spouse, Katrina Just, while hiking, and their wedding cake sat on top of a wood round that the couple kept after the ceremony.
Wanting to repurpose the round into a gift for Katrina, Jack’s first project was transforming their wedding wood round into wall-mounted plant holders.
“I started with almost no tools. For the wedding round, I used just a handsaw and it was nearly impossible. The whole time I was worried that I was ruining a special thing,” Jack says, laughing.
Fortunately, not only did the plant hangers turn out beautifully, but Jack went on to develop his woodworking skills over the next three years. His workshop now features a full array of tools and a wood kiln.
Jack never expected to become a woodworker, but he has held a long-time interest in entrepreneurship. Positive feedback encouraged him to take the next leap into growing his hobby into a business.
“I realized that if I was going to keep making things, I needed to take it seriously,” Jack says.
It is Jack’s first year vending with Sequim Farmers and Artisans Market. However, his entrepreneurial skills and background shine through.
“One of my favorite things about my work is market day,” he says. “Getting to meet the vendor in person and seeing who made it is so special compared to shopping online, even if you know it’s something handmade. The market is a way more fun of a venue to sell and buy.”
The Olympic Rounds booth sports a hilariously cheeky sign reading, Build a Bear Table.
In a similar customization model, market shoppers can order a unique wood round table from Olympic Rounds on-site, selecting features from the wood itself from the table legs to the colors of stain and epoxy.
Not only is each table unique in its customization, but each preserves and represents a part of local history.
Bailey Loveless is the market director of the Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market.
Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market
Open: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 29
Location: Sequim Civic Center Plaza and Centennial Place, downtown Sequim
More info: firstname.lastname@example.org, 360-582-6218
On the web: sequimmarket.com