In college, Alexandra Climent worked in the office of a construction firm that built bridges around New York. The firm bought dense South and Central American woods that wouldn't rot in water. Intrigued, Alexandra journeyed to Panama to learn more. But she fell in love with the exotic wood and, instead of felling live trees, decided to import the stumps that farmers would otherwise burn to clear land. Five years ago, after working two jobs while she taught herself woodworking, she began carving full time. The finished products—everything from bowls and boxes to furniture and sculptures—are all works or aft, naturally dyed from the floor of the jungle and hard as stone. “There was a lot of trial and error,” she says. “The rules of woodworking don’t apply. Most machines can’t handle wood this dense. I use the type of diamond blades that are typically used for metal.”
Favorite Carhartt Gear: “When I was in construction, I would go out to the job sites and all the guys were wearing Carhartts. I looked up to the brand. Now, I’m a woman in a workshop and I’m wearing my Carhartt overalls [Brewster Double Front Bib Overall] every day. Everything else just rips apart when you’re carrying stumps and getting covered in sawdust and glue.”
In this 4-part series, Carhartt teamed up with Outside to recognize, thank, and tell the stories of a group of hardworking people that don’t often get appreciated for the work, dedication, and long hours they put in. The series also includes two brothers who are providing humanely-raised meats to area restaurants in Detroit, and a second-generation surfboard maker, and a woman saving Detroit’s dying trees from the landfill. To shop Carhartt, click here.