Made in Houston

Jewelry Goes Green with Treengs

Melissa Eason has turned extra wood scraps into a seriously chic line of rings.

By Sarah Rufca Nielsen March 17, 2015

A spalted pecan treeng with gold inlay by Melissa Eason

It's been over two years since New Living partnered with local craftsmen and artisans to build beautiful furniture from local scrap wood in a cool, in-store woodworking studio, dubbed Made @ New Living. Since then, the company has ended up with more than its share of small pieces of leftover wood. As one of Houston's most eco-conscious stores, wasting these bits and pieces was not an option.

Enter Melissa Eason, one of New Living's resident artisans. Eason learned to work with metal from her grandfather, a longtime jewelry-maker, and soon started experimenting with the wood remainders with the goal of creating her own jewelry. The result is Treengs, a line of unexpectedly cool all-wood rings, each hewn into statement pieces with smooth, asymmetric facets from the fallen timber and reclaimed woods used at Made @ New Living. 

Treengs officially launched over the weekend with a trunk show at Myth & Symbol in Rice Village. The rings are available in three distinct woods and inlaid with small dots of either brass or gold.

"The brass has more of a sparkle, but the gold has an all-over shine," says Eason, before telling me the provenance of each wood. The walnut, with the richest brown of the three, came from a man who just happened to drive by New Living while hauling the lumber he'd saved from a fire in Arkansas. The subtly zebra-striped sycamore wood was once part of the second-tallest tree in Harris County, felled illegally (and controversially) by a real estate developer in 2013.

My favorite of the three is the spalted pecan. Spalt is a fungus that will eventually kill the trees that it infects, but before it does it creates brilliant dark stripes in the wood. Bad for the tree, great for the treeng, if you will. (Yes, it's a fun word.)

Treengs start at $72 and are available via the New Living website and in-store for orders.

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