Steve Clegg.

Steve Clegg: Barking up the right tree

Chilliwack's Steve Clegg, 27, as featured in The Chilliwack Progress Forty Under 40.

When Steve Clegg sees a fallen tree, he doesn’t see inconvenience or waste, he sees opportunity.

For two years the 27-year-old owner of Clegg Woodcrafts has been creating free-formed sculptures, plaques and unique home decor out of salvaged and reclaimed wood.

He’s acquired trees blown down by wind, left by loggers, cut down by local farmers, diseased by the Ponderosa pine beetle, and those destined to be burned.

“None of the wood I use is from a lumber yard; each piece is either salvaged or reclaimed with a story behind it,” Clegg said outside his Ryder Lake shop.

“I’m like a wood pack rat – I can’t throw anything out.”

He’s also an active environmentalist.

By using salvaged wood, Clegg avoids harming live trees. He also grows his own trees as a way of giving back to the environment for all its given him.

To date, he’s grown over 250 native trees from seeds.

“I feel that if I’m taking trees out of the ecosystem, even though they’re ones that have already fallen they’re still part of the ecosystem, and I feel I should give back, compensate for what I’ve taken,” he said. “It goes full circle.”

Clegg’s love affair with wood goes back as far as he can remember.

Growing up, he spent hours with his dad tinkering away in the family’s wood shop. He took woodworking courses in school, and instead of buying gifts, he made them.

He started an arborist business after graduation, but shifted his focus a few years later and enrolled in BCIT’s marketing management entrepreneurship program. There, he was elected president of the Students in Free Enterprise Club, which under his leadership, organized a trade show for environmentally friendly businesses, which continues today.

Post graduation, Clegg was headhunted by BCIT to commercialize new technology. But after just a year in the position, he resigned.

“Wearing a suit everyday, sitting in a cubicle, that just wasn’t my style,” he said.

Clegg fell back on his love for the environment.

He started the Fraser Valley Conservancy, a non-profit environmental consulting organization that promotes the protection of species at risk and assists private landowners in becoming better stewards of their land.

In 2009, he opened Clegg Woodcrafts, where he features the live edges of wood, and retains the natural bark, shape and function of the wood in his products. Every piece he takes, he utilizes, whether it’s through his free-form sculptures, mirrors, or cutting boards. Wood chips he uses for fire kindling and sawdust he uses for mulch.

In just two years, his unique style has been recognized locally, provincially, nationally and internationally. His creations have been picked up by Harvard Medical School, VANOC, BCIT, the PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) Tour, David Suzuki, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, two U.S. senators, a retirement present for environmentalist Mark Angelo, and most recently by the deputy consul general of the Peoples Republic of China.

“What I do has a lot of added work,” he said. “But it has lot of added value too.”

 

Just Posted

Chilliwack native Maleek Irons scores first Canadian Football League touchdown

The former W.J. Mouat Hawks star recorded a major against Toronto on Saturday

Trial dates set for three men accused of 2017 killing near Hope

Lawyers for the accused appeared in Kelowna at B.C. Supreme Court on Monday

Heroism medal for Chilliwack woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Rifle thefts from Lindell Beach break-and-enter leads to arrest downtown Chilliwack

Andrew Scott Charpentier charged with numerous offences after guns seized from Reece Avenue address

Extended hours of operation at city hall for Chilliwack taxpayers

The Finance Department at city hall will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

Grey-haired bank robber hit with dye pack in Langley heist

Police are looking for an older man who may be stained with dye

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

New Lower Mainland bistro caters to board game fans and families

Local food and games at every table is the formula for the new business

Most Read