By Elissa Chudwin
Scouring the Meramec and Mississippi Rivers for driftwood, Matt Faupel makes everything from coffee tables to picture frames from salvaged materials.
Matt started this venture four years ago. At the time, he was selling nature photography at art shows, and he began using hollow logs to frame his photos. However, the home furnishings have now become more popular than the pictures.
Tracking down his supplies is Matt’s favorite part. He searches for lumber with character. His pieces often come from unusual places, too.
Every year, a few area cemeteries let him take wood from the trees they’ve cleared.
“I like the pieces of wood that come from some of the cemeteries because it gives them a neat story,” he says.
Besides selling his artwork online and at art shows, Matt builds custom pieces; people even give him wood they’ve been saving because of its sentimental value.
“Recently, a lady contacted me who was holding on to wood from a tree that was cut down from her childhood home,” he says. “I made it into a couple pieces for her to preserve her memories.”