Deeply Rooted

The Wood Cycle celebrates natural beauty

Paul Morrison shares  two characteristics with much of his extended family: a loyalty to Wisconsin and a love of woodworking.

Yet it wasn’t until 2001, while working as an engineer for the state, that Morrison founded The Wood Cycle and began taking on projects in his basement. A few years later, wood became his full-time work and his business found a new home—an old farmstead in Oregon, including a barn he salvaged and hauled across snowy fields to his property last winter.

Here, Morrison and a handful of employees operate a decidedly green woodworking company, practicing sustainable harvesting, burning scraps in the wood stoves, and using sawdust and bark mulch when they plant replacement trees.

And all the wood is local. Tree services contact him about lumber and clients approach him about turning a tree from their yard into a work of art or piece of furniture for their home. “Wood finds out about me,” Morrison says. “I have not looked for wood in years.”

At The Wood Cycle, wood morphs into tables, beds, cabinetry, benches, fireplace mantles, decorative bowls and more. “Project-wise, we do everything,” Morrison says. “That’s part of the fun of it—there’s always something different to do.”

Morrison displays samples of his work in the Hayloft Gallery, which also showcases photography and pottery from the local 14 South Artists group. He likes to bring clients and newcomers here to help explain what he can create.

“Maybe the best description is an antique maker,” he says, “because I know my pieces will be passed down for generations.”

Katie Vaughn is associate editor of Madison Magazine. Read her A&E blog Liberal Arts.

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