You see a finished cutting board, we see a tree that once stood in a forest. A tree that we want to pay homage too by crafting it into the best homeware possible. An object that will have a special place in your home for years to come and that will carry the simple beauty of nature everywhere you use it.
While there are some gorgeous exotic wood species out there, we decided to work with species native to Eastern Canada and the Northeastern United States. It's a conscious effort to reduce the distance between the forest, our workshop and your home. It's also a design choice, where our Nordic, almost minimalist, approach to everyday objects guides us into letting the natural beauty of the material shine through, allowing it to remind us of its origin.
The history of Quebec, or Lower Canada as it was once known, is closely intertwined with wood production. Our forests have been producing high quality wood for centuries, even supplying the British navy for shipbuilding and large construction projects during the Napoleonic blockade. Back then, oak and pine were favoured. At the moment, Meipel mainly uses sugar maple, yellow birch and black walnut with the intent of integrating more native woods into our collection.
Beautifully shiny, maple is one tough wood that sometimes makes our days a little harder. But we accept the challenge, as we know what an outstanding durability it will provide. We wouldn't be named Meipel if we didn't believe what a special tree maple is.
Yellow birch (merisier in french), a very common tree in southern Quebec, is also one tough customer that makes it worthwhile with its rich golden shades and wide, distinctive, grain pattern. We love the pinkish undertones it sometimes takes. It’s one of those woods that exudes warmth and feels like home. If you’ve lived in a home built over the last century in the province, chances are you’ve been walking on it for quite a while. As far as I can remember, all the places we’ve lived in had birch floors. If birch can stand the test of time as floor boards, chances are it will withstand some bread cutting in the kitchen.
The third wood specie we have at the moment, is walnut. A little less common to the area as it prefers a more temperate climate, black walnut is native to Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec. It’s one showy wood, and its depth and character will bring nature right into your home. It’s also a little friendlier to work with, which makes it an absolute pleasure to have around.
White birch or silver birch, is likely the northernmost deciduous tree in Canada, it’s very common to the Laurentians and happy to grow well into the boreal forest. While we’re working on sourcing larger quantities of this exceptional wood, we are happy to have it around in the form of recycled wood for decorative objects.
Respecting the tree also extends to the finishing steps where only natural products are used. Beeswax and oil are sourced locally and provide a soft-to-the-touch, satin finish to our wooden homewares.
We like to think that by offering an alternative to mass-produced home goods, we're helping out the environment and providing you with an opportunity to add a timeless and useful object to your home.
We will gradually roll out pages dedicated to each of the wood species we use in our designs so that you can become more familiar with them and better understand our design and fabrication processes. Here's a first hint: Meipel is all about designs inspired by nature and the use of natural material in their realization.