A husband and wife team are carving artwork and keepsakes from the last original remains of Eastbourne Pier’s Victorian decking to preserve its history.
After the fire of 2014, Jon and Hannah Hammond – who are based in Wilmington – reclaimed the remains of the decking.
The wood used by Eugenius Birch in 1870 was Ekki, an exotic ironwood used solely in industrial and marine settings due to it’s almost impenetrable nature and hardiness to the elements – seemingly even fire – and is regarded as being “uncarvable”.
Ekki also requires carving tools to be sharpened every 30 seconds, so it’s a real labour of love.
The couple say they launched their business – called Hammond & Hammond – as a way of preserving the history of the much-loved pier.
Over the last two years, Jon has hand carved more than 300 bowls from the decking which are now all over the country and the world, sending some as far as Australia, Canada, and Tanzania.
The couple work exclusively in reclaimed woods and most recently reclaimed the bar top, bar pillars, and other wood from The Gildredge pub which is being demolished to make way for the Arndale Centre extension. Some private commissions have included beer tankards from the Gildredge bar top, art deco clocks from the pier wood, and necklaces from Michelham Priory oak.
Jon said, “We can only make so many items from these woods before it’s all gone, so this is the chance for people to own a piece of local history.”
Find out more by visiting the couple’s website at www.hammond-hammond.com