Rustic Milling & Craft

COZAD, Neb.- We recently traveled to Cozad to talk with a couple that make wood creations out of reclaimed wood. You could definitely say this is another example of how Nebraskans work hard to not let materials go to waste, and how up-cycling continues to be a trend.

The owners are Rose and Ray Mapel, and the business they operate is called "Rustic Milling & Craft". Ray is the woodworker, and Rose is the artist, and together the couple make unique items from all sorts of wood. Rose is known for making barn quilts, holding workshops for acrylic art, black light art, and she also does pottery. Ray actually has a small sawmill outside their shop where he custom cuts the reclaimed wood there. "All of our wood comes from people who are discarding it," Ray said. "They might have a tree they are cutting down, or farmers might be burning a pasture, and we pick it up. We don't cut down the trees. The whole idea behind it is I would rather see (the wood) put to use than put in a landfill," Ray said.

Ray says at Rustic Milling & Craft, they mostly seem to work with cedar. But he also enjoys working with ash, locust, maple, hackberry, walnut and others. "We like to build everything to heirloom quality standards," Ray said. Rose says she does some woodworking too, such as shelving. She is known to embellish many of their wood products with wood-burning techniques.

The couple say they have a gift shop at their location in Cozad, and they encourage the public to stop by. "We have some art in there, we have some wood products in there, and all sorts of ideas for custom work if anybody would like that."

Rustic Milling & Craft is located at 608 E. Monroe Street in Cozad.