Pendant Area_Fotor.jpg

Above is a customized Pendant Display repurposed from salvaged lath where clientele could choose from smaller vintage wares. Low-wattage bulbs provided backlighting. Beneath, ethically-sourced fabrics were sold by the yard. 

Photography by Susan Mendel

Photography by Susan Mendel

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Custom interior shelving hand-crafted from salvaged lath and fencing.

Custom interior shelving hand-crafted from salvaged lath and fencing.

Photography by Susan Mendel

And just as a crow learns to hunt and gather and find the value in the small and seemingly inconsequential, so should our customers. Aims were taken to design a display that encouraged a little… treasure hunting.

Photography by Susan Mendel

An empty storefront. 1243 Kingsway became our chosen location.

An empty storefront. 1243 Kingsway became our chosen location.

Sourced from artisans across the globe, offered were unique imports such as authentic Indian slate chalk and charcoal, Italian stationary, feathers, fossils, antique trunk hardware, ivory piano keys, steampunk gauges; and all manner of salvaged detritus for the creative designer. And in the lower displays? Fuel canisters, old crates, toolboxes, rare books, and vintage farmhouse windows. 

Interior display built from vintage hand tools and saws.

Central display counter.

Frontal display shelving for larger wares.

Frontal display shelving for larger wares.

Custom Furniture & Lettering

Along with all of the above, we provided custom furnishings and furniture for our customers. Consistently we took commissions for custom lettering made from salvaged materials and built made-to-order furniture; such as coffee tables, from designs provided. 

Custom wooden letter plaques. 

Custom wooden letter plaques. 

Design by Alistair Duthie.

Design by Alistair Duthie.

Garden Cross, Matthew Johnson

Salvaged Fir Coffee Table. Design by Matthew Johnson & Alistair Duthie

Salvaged Fir Coffee Table. Design by Matthew Johnson & Alistair Duthie

Ladder Console Table. Design by Matthew Johnson,

Ladder Console Table. Design by Matthew Johnson,

Out-dated hutch refinished in modernized tones. 

Custom Cross, Matthew Johnson

Custom Cross, Matthew Johnson

Media & Promotion

The Georgia Straight:
Vintage finds take artful flight at Crow Salvaged Goods

by Janet Smith on October 22nd, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Maybe it’s the way he could create new worlds as a onetime theatre-set maker or maybe it’s because of what he saw headed to the dump as a renovator. Whatever it is, Matthew Johnson is able to reimagine everything from old, unfinished lath to wooden-rung ladders as rustic- contemporary furnishings. As he puts it, he just can’t stop finding new life in the unwanted.

At his stylish store, Crow Salvaged Goods (1243 Kingsway), one vintage double set of institutional-green-metal lockers has been transformed into a cool front-hall cabinet with new mirrors fastened to the front. Elsewhere, a ladder has morphed into an industrial-chic pot rack, salvaged fir flooring sits on a welded metal base to form a coffee table, and a funky octopus print hangs in a reclaimed white window frame.

Johnson’s finds are the result of years of gathering discards from reno projects and elsewhere, always with an eye to somehow salvaging them. His chance came this year when a retail space opened up next to his workshop, offering him the perfect opportunity to both sell his wares and refinish or transform them. Crow is a unique mix of carefully curated primitive antiques, salvaged architectural pieces, contemporary art, construction materials, industrial hardware, and reclaimed craft supplies for the city’s growing army of DIYers. It seems Johnson’s own love of saving old stuff from the junk heap is striking a chord with a new generation.

“These pieces have a patina and will evoke a period,” he explains, standing by the craft area’s vintage metal typeset letters, aging horseshoes, and rusty barbed-wire coils. He’s just finished drilling a hole into a wooden Scrabble tile to make a pendant for a client. “We’re losing this stuff. Maybe it just reminds us of our youth or something back in the past. And you can only have so much melamine and cookie-cutter furniture. We want pieces that will last, and wood and metal will last.”

Johnson had long wanted to start up a different kind of salvage shop, one that had space to spotlight its carefully chosen pieces, instead of a warehouse crammed with finds.

“When everything is piled up, nothing has a chance to have a voice as a design piece,” says Johnson, who saw a number of airy, artfully designed salvage shops on a road trip across America three years ago. “You can strengthen that voice with curating it.”

In fact, the name of the store comes from his careful approach to displaying his finds. “Here, you can slow down like a crow and see the beauty and value of these things,” he says.

 

The draw at Crow is that Johnson sees the potential in things we might not necessarily have spotted. Check out the vintage pianoforte-keys wall hanging he’s made (about $195), or the beat- up white miner’s lunch box ($85) that would make a hip little storage case. A steel tool chest ($145) could give a contemporary room the industrial hit it needs, while a tall chest ($180) with eight roughly stripped drawers brings the rustic to a home. More than anything, it’s the coolly eclectic way Johnson juxtaposes eras, styles, and materials that sets Crow apart: think antique tobacco and talc tins next to retro Superman posters beside vintage postcards, peeling-paint fire hydrants, old road signs, barley sacks, and well-used metal trunks. 

Best of all, the avid collector has much more stowed away so that he can bring out new items regularly. Johnson laughs and says, “It’s like a wave that you have to keep holding back.” As he says, he just can’t stop himself. 

Source URL: http://www.straight.com/life/753901/vintage-finds-take-artful-flight-crow-salvaged-goods 

Partnerships

During our tenure we had the pleasure of partnering with several local businesses and independent artisans who assisted in filling our with uniquely beautiful pieces. 

The Hive is Vancouver-based screenprinting shop dedicated to providing artisan quality work for a guaranteed lower price. During the Christmas season of 2014, we worked together to bring a wide variety of quality vintage-inspired items; such as t-shirts, tote bags and tea-towels, and meeting Rebekkah and Norberto was a lovely experience. 

Heather Adair is a local artist/photographer who provided photographs and decorative wall imagery.  for the shop (pictured below). Born in Seattle, Washington, raised in Calgary, Alta, Heather moved to Vancouver to attend Emily Carr Art College of Art and Design for a 4 year fine arts program, graduating in the sculpture department with a focus in photography. www.heatheradairphotography.com

Heather Adair's work combines photography with mixed media. 

Heather Adair's work combines photography with mixed media. 

The Hive in East Vancouver offers an excellent selection of printed textiles. 

The Hive in East Vancouver offers an excellent selection of printed textiles. 

Sarah Jane Pavlus is a Canadian artist who was born in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta and raised in Vernon, British Columbia. Working with a variety of mediums, Sarah’s work focuses on themes of age, detachment, disquiet and dark humour. She studied at Langara College and went on to earn her BFA from Emily Carrin 2004. She has been working out of New Westminster since her return from Montreal in 2009. Take a moment to view some of her work here.

Susan Mendel is a local photographer who combines her passion for horses with vintage finds. Her framed images are one-of-a-kind and capture the beauty of the majestic horse. The images are framed using carefully selected reclaimed pieces from the past. Her photography can be seen here.

 

The whimsical works of Sarah Pavlus.

The whimsical works of Sarah Pavlus.