Heart Of The Matter
If you are looking for a unique Valentine’s Day gift, why not get something that not only shows how much you love that special person, but how much you love Tulare County and the environment.
Exeter native Peter Hickey has made a limited edition item from trees that probably predate St. Valentine himself. Hickey uses wood from long-felled giant sequoias in the majestic mountains of Tulare County to make a cylindrical lantern. The rustic wood and romantic allure create an atmosphere perfect for both indoor and outdoor lighting.
“Having sat in the ambiance of the subtle light and the circular patterns creates quite a mood,” Hickey said. “It makes a great Valentine’s Day gift.”
The solid wood lamps are 10 inches tall and 7 inches in diameter. Hickey then drills 4-inch wholes into each side and one through the top. The center cavern is drilled an eighth of an inch deeper than the side circles where a votive candle is inset. Above this Hickey places a glass casing used in old oil lanterns to dim the light and reflect through the sides in all directions.
“When it comes to sequoia wood products, bigger is better,” Hickey said. “If it is a large item it really shows off the natural beauty and reminds you of the immense size of the trees themselves.”
The item is a marriage of craftsmanship and conservation. The wood is from fence posts salvaged from a property on the South Fork of the Kaweah River. Hickey said the posts were milled from felled sequoias at the now abandoned Atwell Mill in Mineral King Valley. Hickey said the trees from which the wood came was probably thousands of years old.
“The history and the story behind them is a great selling point,” Hickey said.
Hickey’s company, Sequoia Salvage, has been repurposing old sequoia fence posts for the last decade. He has taken similar fenceposts and railroad ties and transformed them into end tables, stools, smaller candle holders and business card holders. While Hickey mostly sells his sequoias products online at etsy.com, he is making his lantern available for sell locally. “Etc.” in downtown Exeter will have a limited supply of the item at its store located at 109 N. E St.
Hickey also offers personalized etching for any individual or couple for a little bit more. For more information on Hickey’s Sequoia Salvage products, call Peter Hickey at 559-786-7294.