Sticks ‘N Bits: One woman’s mission to save sticks from landfill

Sam is a woman on a mission. To save broken hockey sticks from the landfill sites and turn them into beautiful, useful and one off pieces of art.

When she isn’t playing for the MK Falcons, or the MK Storm Wreck, or MK Jesters she’s working as an Aerospace Engineer or in her workshop working on her latest commission. She’s a busy lady, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I’m pretty much self taught. I learnt some basic workshop skills a long time ago in college but that was all metalwork. Some of it crosses over though. A lot of what I do is trial & error, and you’d be surprised at what tips and tricks you pick up from places like Instagram and YouTube.”

It all began when she saw a photo of a bench made out of sticks online and convinced she could do that herself she tried and got a great reception.

“After seeing so many people like it, I started looking at other hockey related bits & found the coasters. I started making them, people actually bought them off me & it kind of went on from there.

Once I heard about The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave, I looked into the technology behind sticks & realised what the deal was. Then of course I discovered their message of ‘giving planet earth an assist’ which I think is marvellous. Those guys are great too, they’ve always helped me out when I’ve had a question.”

Her first sale was a coaster which he sold to a teammate. “I framed that first fiver. ” She laughs.

Her creations are crafted mostly from broken sticks or old unused ones. This will save them from the landfill where they will take almost forever to breakdown.

I’ll collect up broken or older unused sticks (or my buddies who know what I’m doing, will pick up broken sticks for me if they’re at rinks I’m not) because otherwise they just go to landfill. They won’t ever decompose so this is my efforts at trying to help out with recycling them.

Once it’s been set (it starts life as fibrous sheets) through a heat & pressure process, you can’t re-use it in the same way.

The only way I’m currently aware of is composite materials being ground down into granules & then incorporated into things like concrete.” Sam explains why sticks cannot be recycled into new products.

She hopes in a few years to have a UK wide stick recycling scheme set up.” I have a few rinks who are happy to have a bin specifically for broken sticks, I just need to set it up.”

You may have seen some of Sam’s products on social media. If you made it to PuckAid last season, you may have seen her stick throne, reminiscent of the throne made famous in HBO’s Game of Thrones.

But what is Sam’s favourite piece she’s made so far? “Tough call. I love the maple Leaf Coffee Table, although that’s still sitting upstairs as it’s not lured in any new owners yet.
I also love the small Easton stick shelf I did for a lovely lady in New Jersey, USA because it became part of a beautiful hockey themed room for her newborn boy called Easton!”

Sam’s Maple Leaf coffee table, £250

“The Victory sticks in it are no longer available as the company went bust in the 90’s. It comes with a toughened 6mm thick glass topper.” Sam explains, this beautiful table is still looking for its forever home.

If you want to add it to your home, contact Sam by email sticksnbitshockey@gmail.com or on her twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

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