As the Trees Turn – Martha’s Vineyard Times

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Are you one of the many people whose love for Martha’s Vineyard has grown over time? Does the island have a special place in your heart? If not, you may know someone for whom this description fits perfectly. As the holiday gift-giving season approaches this year, we’d like to recommend an incredible company called Chappaquiddick Wood Company (CWCo).

For the last five years or so, Zach Pinerio, owner and founder of CWCo, has been crafting exquisite handcrafted pieces from local trees that fell on the island. He finds great joy and satisfaction in knowing exactly what part of the island the particular tree he is working with came from. Known for making beautiful and functional wooden bowls, Pinerio has begun branching out into other hardwood products, including salad servers, whale-shaped cutting boards, and pendant lamp shades. There is no doubt that his love for the process will result in more variations on the same handcrafted theme. And with the peace of mind that all of his products are sustainably produced, there is no better way to bring a piece of this precious island home. If he hadn’t had it, most of his raw materials would have ended up as firewood or in the chipper.

Pinerio, a native of Westchester, New York, grew up spending summers with his family on the islands, particularly Chappaquiddick. He worked at the Chappaquiddick Beach Club every year and fell in love with the rhythm and pace of this special little island within an island, so it was only natural that he decided to base his business there.

When it came time to go to college, he decided to attend the University of Vermont to study Environmental Science, which turned out to be a lucky move because it allowed him to discover and pursue his dream of working with wood.

After college, he apprenticed as a cabinet maker in Vermont for about eight years. He then switched to residential construction, where he picked up many useful skills and became more comfortable working with his hands. But it wasn’t until he decided to work for Andrew Pierce, a renowned Vermont craftsman of handmade wooden bowls (son of renowned Vermont-based glassblower Simon Pierce), that he got to where he is today. Pinerio credits Andrew with teaching him the art of turning wood on a lathe and crafting one-of-a-kind, functional bowls from sustainably sourced wood. Andrew also taught Pinerio the importance of relying on customized tools and business management.

Armed with this experience, he moved to his beloved Chappy to start his own woodworking business. Using the skills he’d gained in homebuilding and cabinet making, he converted an old shipping container into a workshop complete with two large, hand-built wood-drying kilns. Luckily for Pinerio, he found a landowner there who was willing to help him pursue his dream.

In the summer of 2019, a fortunate combination of circumstances led Pinerio to purchase a stunning old farmhouse just down the road from his shop. Historically known as “Whale Jaw Farm,” the property is a collection of rustic antique buildings, including a large barn, where Pinerio hopes to one day move his workshop. He’s already acquired the necessary flock of chickens and is looking to add more, as well as a variety of other livestock.

Following in the tradition of Simon and Andrew Pearce, Pinerio envisions the farm as not only a destination for those interested in handcrafted products, but also a place for visitors who want to have a good time. The Pearces’ operation has grown organically into a complex with a restaurant, shop and viewing area where people can watch the products being made right before their eyes. Pinerio said it will take a few years for this dream to come true, but it will be well worth the effort to make it happen.

For more information about Chappaquiddick Wood Company, Chappaquiddick Wood Company Or check out Pinerio’s Instagram page. @chappaquiddickwoodcompanyPinerio’s work will be for sale at the 23rd annual Thanksgiving Weekend Artisans Festival, Nov. 29-30 at the Ag Hall in West Tisbury from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and at the 11th annual Holiday Fair on Dec. 21. Grunge HallWest Tisbury, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.





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