Our People: Christine Luffman


Christine is no ordinary timber sales advisor.

She’s a wood master, a brain, a nerd who thinks in timber and is brilliant at it.

What we do is so varied that to interpret wood-needs and wood-wants a really good wood sales-guru needs to be part sylviculturist, part engineer, part number cruncher and 100% woodgeek. Chris nails it.

“You really need to understand the characteristics of wood, it’s a natural product, it’s not inert, it doesn’t behave like metal or plastic and from the moment it arrives in the yard to the finished product, it’s very much about figures and calculations.”

When you learn that before she got drawn into the timber industry Chris was a forensic pathologist suddenly things start to click into place. Her first job working in her father’s green grocery / garden centre adding grocery bills from morning ’til night without a calculator clearly supercharged some neurons.

But here’s the thing, this lady’s not all numbers, she’s nature too.

Chris has a love of the outdoors, of nature and the environment. She grew up around boats and the sea and became a keen angler (vice chair of the local fishing club!) The mix of outdoor interests and scientific brain is probably why she’s such a natural at working with the complexity and precision of timber specification.

“There are a lot of stumbling blocks I help people avoid. Depending on the application, timber might be sold in square meters, cubic metres, cubic feet, at various thicknesses, as log yields, in the round or as individual edge pieces. You also need to consider the kind of treatment and species for internal, external, furniture or structural use. There’s a lot of moving parts to make the right choice.”

Helping customers make good wood choices is where Chris really shines. She’s has an all round timber understanding and expertise so she’s great at advice no matter what the application.

Even the most seasoned woodworkers need advice on unfamiliar species or new applications. When they do it’s Chris they call on for help. She knows every possible use and potential application for every piece of wood we have in stock, and some. She knows what we have now, what we had then and what will have soon. For what we cut instead of stock she has the sourcing down to a fine art and always keeps it legal, sustainable and certified (PEFC, FSC or GiB).

Chris’ environmental conscience has helped shape our approach to sustainable business practice, making a zero wood waste policy a priority her at EWT. She’s very proud of our record of using wood shavings and machine shop waste in our biomass boilers that heat the sheds and she’s experimenting with sustainable protective packaging for the orders we ship via couriers.

“Wood is a natural product. Each piece is unique and can’t be replicated. Our stock comes from trees planted by our great-grandparents’ generation, and the chances are our great-grandchildren will be using the wooden products we make with it. Its value increases with proper treatment, so it’s in our interests to treat it properly and sell the very highest quality.”

Of course we can’t keep Chris chained to a desk all the time, at weekends we let her stay home 🙂 She uses her time out to get out.

Walking her dogs on the downs or the beaches near her home in Chichester makes Chris a happy bunny. So does being parked on a river bank or lake edge hauling 30lb carp, 25lb pike or fighting with a wild barbel (a fish, in case you were wondering). As an alternative to angling Chris has taken to painting… landscapes in acrylics are her speciality. She finds her flow in nature and applies that pathologist brain to the details.

One thing is for certain… whether you’re a joiner, furniture maker, builder, or designer Chris is an invaluable timber sales advisor and you need her on your next project.

“Tomorrow’s antiques, window frames and buildings are made with wood we select today. So we’d better choose well! That’s my job, and I love it.”

If you need Chris flavoured help, get in touch with her right here

 

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If you enjoyed finding our more about Chris you might like to read about some other members of the EWT team – find out more about Our People

CHRIS’S GALLERY

Posted on May 10th 2020 under our people. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.