FOUNDWOOD was established in the 70’s by my late father, Dave Homcy. Together we used to collect reclaimed materials from the beach & neighborhood to create (or recreate) useful home & kitchen goods. I was my Papa’s “shop helper.” He called it “FOUNDWOOD” because we “found wood.”
After my Papa passed away in 2003, woodworking became therapeutic for me. I was already living in Hawaii, so I began collecting tools & seeking local reclaimed materials, which led me to a couple of older guys (Uncle Jerry & Wade) who were tired of seeing trees go to waste on their construction sites. They had a sawmill & began providing me with locally sourced lumber.
I began making custom frames, later adding functional art, such as cutting boards & furniture. After a long career in marine science & education, in 2013 I made my career change official & relaunched the FOUNDWOOD brand.
In staying true to my ethic, my team and I use earth made semi-precious stones such as turquoise, chrysocolla, & lapis to inlay the natural voids in the wood and to artistically highlight the history of the life of the tree. We create sustainable custom furniture, home goods, cutting & charcuterie boards, & commercial installations from Hawaiian grown reclaimed hardwoods.
Jen Homcy, owner & designer, cuts & shapes all pieces & works with her team in the shop to execute all Foundwood products from start to finish.
Andre has been with Foundwood since Fall 2014. His strong work ethic & attention to detail make him a perfect fit for executing all of Foundwood’s creations.
In a rapidly changing environment, where not only development but restoration is happening concurrently, trees are often in the cross hairs. By working with both arborists & conservation managers, we are able to divert those logs from the waste stream & mill them up into 100% locally sourced lumber. We do not participate in deforestation, & in turn we give back to reforestation programs in a variety of ways through donation of services, goods, and dollars.
When we run our old Lumber Mate 2000 sawmill, it's like opening a Christmas gift. The anticipation & excitement that comes with every cut is indescribable-like reading a history book on the life of that tree. We can read the wood in a way that tells a story of trauma & healing, of time, nutrition, drought, water or insect invasions, & so much more. And the story does not end there. Our drying process can add so many different characteristics to the wood. With some species like mango, we manipulate the drying process to encourage spalting (a process that causes pigmentation when fungi produce extracellular pigments inside the wood), which can add colors & character. By placing spacers in between the slabs, air then reaches all sides of the lumber & the air drying process begins. Getting from fresh cut to dry can take between 3 months and 3 years, depending on the species, thickness, & weather conditions. Sometimes the wood is kiln dried to accelerate the process as well as guaranteeing stability, especially for furniture pieces.
The first step, after the wood is dried, is to flatten the surfaces with a planer and/or wide belt sander. From there, we can “see” the wood's patterns, movement & damage which are all assessed, and then the process of deciding what the materials will become begins. For furniture it's usually specific to the size, shape and installation of a piece. For the cutting boards & charcuterie boards, the wood tells a story, & we design for maximum function while allowing the wood to tell us how it would best be used. Pieces are then cut on a band saw & shaped on a vertical belt sander, while other function details are added such as holes, handles, or liquid gutters.
By now, all the imperfections in the materials, such as old scars, bug damage, separations in the grain, & more can be seen. Clean up of those spaces & the process of inlaying natural semi precious stones begins. We sustainably source bulk raw materials, (mostly from North America), manually crushed, sorted, & sifted for specific sizes. We mosaic set larger chunks of stone while using smaller sand size grits as the grout. Diamond grinders, gap filling, & a variety of sanding processes, perfect the art of the "stone in wood" inlay.
Cutting boards are soaked in a mineral oil bath for 1-3 days, depending on the wood. Certain pieces are first finished with a wood bowl finish to seal the interior grains, preserving the character while protecting from liquid absorption over time. Such pieces are then re-sanded, removing that finish from the surface of the boards, and a coat of beeswax is applied as a final finish. We always suggest using a beeswax conditioner for maintenance, as its long-lasting superior quality will protect your cutting boards for decades to come.