Early settlers in the Southern Appalachians made most of what they needed from the forests around them. Trees were plentiful around a 19th century homestead, but nothing was wasted.
Wood that wasn't good for timber-framing could be used for fences, furniture, carts and sledges. Smaller pieces made roof shingles and treenware, and anything left over was fuel for the fireplace. They even made their own music, with instruments they crafted themselves.
When a cherry tree fell on my land a few years ago, I hated to see it waste away. It became the Founding Tree for Appalachian Tree Works. Using walnut, maple, cherry and other hardwoods native to the Blue Ridge (my corner of the Appalachians), I craft variations on traditional forms -- wooden spoons, dough bowls and trays, as well as musical instruments. Fallen trees are sliced into logs with a chainsaw, split with a maul and wedge, and carved into treenware with any available tool from a bandsaw to a hand scraper.
Hand-crafted musical instruments like lutes and dulcimers are as much art as they are instrument. Dulcimers, an instrument born in 19th century Appalachia, can be made in most any shape you desire. Neck ornamentation and specially shaped soundholes can also be added.