Reclaiming Colorado – a review

I take a lot of pictures. I mean…A LOT of pictures. Cards fill up, cards get emptied, and cards fill up again, and again, and again, and…you get the picture.

But so rarely do I actually print my own work with the intent of framing it and hanging it on my own walls. That is, until I found out old barn wood was being used to build frames a half mile from my home..

Here’s a math equation for you: What happens when you take a retired Marine/flyfish addict/photographer/Colorado transplant and mix him with a passion for building something uniquely Coloradan? You get Reclaimed Colorado – a custom frame building gig that uses reclaimed materials from around the Centennial State (especially the San Luis Valley) to build one-of-a-kind frames.

I met Ray by way of the child care center my little guy attends and when I found out he was a spey and flyfisher guy based out of Washington state, we decided conversation should be shared over some beers and wood-fired pizza at the local brewery.

A few months later, I get a call from Ray – he wanted to show me something. That next Monday, I walked into the daycare center to see the start of something beautiful.

Ray and his business partner Nathan build frames from the ground up.

The search: From working with local ranch and landowners to salvage wood from their old barns, to visiting local mills in search of pieces with some soul left to them, these guys keep their boots on the ground and personally pick the beams, remnants, and pieces that go into each frame.

The build: Saws, routers, nails, precision. Each piece of wood used to build a frame is unique – it’s story, location of origin, size, rawness. From what I saw in their inventory, it was like no two pieces were alike, meaning the creativity opportunity is endless and each frame (and piece within that frame) is one of a kind. I appreciated this aspect. No cookie-cutter or run-of-the-mill product here; there’s a story behind each and every piece.

The outcome

The product speaks for itself. Rugged, unique, the list goes on. Mine hangs proudly in our home with a family photo from the annual ski trip –  but I bet a big ol’ trout or some other great shot would look just as great.

Interested in getting your own? Ray is doing a lot of fishing these days, but I hear rumor of a local storefront that he’ll be managing to showcase his frames and photography is in the works. In the meantime, if you’d like to custom order yours, hit him up before the line gets too long 😉


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