Local man creates art with 100+ year old wood

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 9:47 PM CST
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PEORIA (25 News Now) - A Peoria man is using his passion to make wood that’s 100 years or older, new again. Each piece of art he sells has a story behind it.

“If it’s out there and it’s over 100 years old, I’ll find it and I’ll use it,” said David Nelson, owner of Noslen Made LLC.

Nelson started his business in 2019. He creates art out of reclaimed wood, working out of his basement and garage in Peoria.

“We realized, ‘Hey we can do a business out of this and I can make a career out of making things by hand,’” said Nelson.

With each piece he makes, there’s a story behind it as he uses reclaimed wood that’s 100 years or older.

“That piece right there is from the Julian Hotel in Downtown Peoria, that piece right is from a barn in Henderson County right on the other side of Monmouth. That piece right there is up from Bradford,” said Nelson.

Part of Nelson’s process is finding the wood all over central Illinois.

“I find a lot from Facebook Marketplace, a lot of word of mouth, barns, old hotels that are being torn down,” said Nelson.

His favorite part is sharing the stories with his clients.

“People love knowing where it came from. I like to encourage people to think, ‘Hey what do you think this wood saw?’” said Nelson.

Nelson says it has not always been easy as a one-man-shop.

“I can only make so much. Last year, with all the markets we struggled to keep up with demand. I ran out,” said Nelson.

However, he does not plan to expand the shop anytime soon.

Nelson hopes to inspire other artists to try something new and not forget about the old.

“I love hearing that other people are going to start making things,” said Nelson, “Just to give something a second life and put it out there for the world to see when it wasn’t intended to be is really neat to me.”