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salt and wood

Re use it or lose it

Tag Archives: repurposed

 

I wrestled these two hardwood beams from a skip bin not too far from my house and carted them home on the roof of the trusty Subaru. A note here that if you ever decide to dabble in the high art of scavenging recyclable materials, I highly recommend acquiring a clapped out Subaru wagon with Rhino roof racks. There is not much I have not been able to easily shift around with this.

 

These beams were deceptively and enormously heavy and old by Aussi building standards. Coming from a renno of a big old Newtown terrace. I could guess that this is Eucalyptus that was hundreds of years old when it was cut and that was probably around 140 years ago. So lets say the tree this timber is from was a germinating seed around 300 years ago!!!!

 

Once home I determined the choice cuts to chop the beams down to more manageable size. The scraps made exceptional firewood for the BBQ. Then there was all the knocking off of trimming timber, sanding, de-nailing and so on just to get down to the great colour and character of this timber. The legs were cut out of the beam and the rest of the process of becoming a bench is apparent in the pictures. Basically I embarked on a bit of rebating and used a found broom handle to do the doweling to pin all the bits together. Another broom handle forms the red bracing detail under the seat. And a scrap bit of timber was used to fill a rebate on the surface where it is stamped.

 

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 Literally a chunk of timber broken away from a boat or jetty structure or something similar. It was found with some sort of heavy canvas material affixed to its face and painted and nailed on! ‘Heavy duty.’

This found object had lashings of character. I simply sanded and sealed the top surface to bring out the original timber colour. Added an ITEM 77 pressure stamp. Freshened the white face paint and added a dash of safety yellow. Then drilled out the holes for the support dowels and the rear stand dowel (all street finds). And voila a curious oddity is born.

 

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Essentially a ‘redo’ of ITEM 57 Blue Groove (look in ITEMs pull down),

 “An LP record stand to show off the covers, protect them from the daily hazards and always know where you left it!”

This time a 3 board assembly instead of two as the found plank (at the beach) was thinner. The stand pipes are fatter this time though and filled with timber dowels. All components street or water found! The corners are more rounded and instead of the finger lip on the back to assist lifting this one was bored out and embossed with the ITEM number.

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 Not quite Lars and the real girl but this is as close as I have come to building my own help! The Jeeves was inspired by the valet stands of days gone by. A prototype it may be but this has proven stunningly useful and accommodating. I adapted the features to suit my lifestyle and thus did not need to incorporate the traditional suit coat rack or wallet tray as I have built accoutrement cabinets separately! But as a quick stop half way alternative to either leaving clothes willy nilly of having to put them away this is the business.

 All the components are found elements:

-restored base drawer

-base deck was flotsam from a boat

-green rope from the beach

-hardwood timber frame from a bed

-the pine top board (that I cut, shaped and painted white)

-the second tier cross pole

There are multiple places to hang clothes on the go or that are getting a second go before the wash and also not having to bend down to access things. The cladding panel on the face of the base drawer is a restored plank of driftwood that has been embossed with the Salt and Wood letters. The base drawer is great for thongs or running socks or other little odds.

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I found this little unit in the back streets of some terraces in Ultimo, an older suburb of inner city Sydney. It is more of a restoration and tart up than a creation but still a satisfying result. One drawer face needed repair and then the unit was sanded and repainted with the inside of the drawers done in a sunny yellow. The original porcelain handles with floral emblem were cleaned and put back on. It has already been claimed as a bedside unit.

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This is the end scrap of a laminated timber post that I pulled out of a skip bin. It already embodied loads of character with pre pencil rounded edges, laminated striping and zig zag joins. I applied some simple cross cut ideas to yet another CD stand. Utilising no other elements but the post itself to generate the functioning sculptural body. The rest was finishing the timber to bring out the colour and texture. It has an ink stamp on the side and a pressure stamp added to the base. The separate bits were glued and then I dropped a few long countersunk screws up through the base to ensure a 1000 year shelf life.

 

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I know I know who listens to CDs anymore? Well me and besides they are the new retro item after LPs! And making these stands is strangely addictive. In this case the third element of the resting pins has been deleted by arranging the legs such that they also do the job of supporting the CD for display of cover art and always knowing where the cover is. ITEM 72 is formed from a chunk of hardwood found washed up on the beach and a piece of ply that looked like it came off a yacht judging from the type of varnish it retained. I sanded and varnished one face of the block retaining the other 5 surfaces as found and cut slots for the legs I cut out of the ply scrap. And voila, ITEM 72.

 

 

 

 

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So no ITEM produced here, just sharing some of the SALT AND WOOD experience! In this case a kind of ‘day in the life’ picture summary of the strange and interesting things one encounters when hunting about for materials for a next project.

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man less, but nature more”.

Rochdale ^18  Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, canto 4, stanza178.

 

 

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Compiled from street found lamp fittings, a retro Australian made (*439 DÉCOR Australia) orange plastic flowerpot and flotsam washed up around Sydney Harbour. The blue parts look like they might have been some sort of packing palette, the legs and edge trim look like they are probably fittings broken from a yacht. The rudder (I couldn’t resist) was cut from a ply panel again most likely off a yacht or cruiser. Angled legs and curved corners and it all culminated in this fun little sculpture/ complimentary colour lamp/ phone  and wallet spot!

 

 

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This very dense block of hardwood (maybe Eucalyptus?) was discovered hiding deep inside the rocks of a wave break wall. After a month or so of drying in the sun I cut away the top surface and one end to reveal the grain. The whole unit was split long ways from the base so a series of timber pegs were employed to cross dowel the block. To enhance the sense of the maritime, a simple long slot was cut along the front and back face. Something like the Plimsoll Line of a ships hull (http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/episode-33-a-cheer-for-samuel-plimsoll/). The area below the line sanded and painted. The areas above the line left as the day they were found.  A router was used to cut simple slots in the base into which rail legs were fitted. The legs were restored from timber salvaged from discarded garden furniture. The lampshade was found on the streets of Newtown and a shower rod end was used to mount it in the deck. The red cord was purchased in Copenhagen a year ago and the plug end is new. Add some light fittings (street recovered) and voila the Cargo Lamp.

 

 

 

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This small simple sculpture is a continuation from Item 61: Now Playing LP. A combination of some street found fine brass rod and a cube of character packed timber and remnants of a Chinese shrine washed up on a Sydney beach.  The cube was brushed all round and sanded on 2 sides with only the face being finally sealed to bring out the peculiar end grain. The beauty of it for me is the not knowing what construction project this little cube is a bi product of or where in the world it floated here from or even what species of tree it is derived from.

 

THIS ITEM HAS SOLD

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This little stick of timber held so much character between its surprising density to its rich colour to the black divot and shiny polished off steel nail remnant that it became its own object. Simply sanded and varnished with a slot cut along its length it becomes a means to compile all the odd bits of notes. Pictured, cards, reminders etc that sit around your side bench.

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After the surprising success of ‘ITEM 17 Now Playing’ comes ITEM 61 Now Playing LP. Item 17 was a CD case display that turned out to be very handy and commented on with approval by many! I was subsequently on the lookout for an appropriate piece of drift or street wood to do an upscale version for LPs.

 

I came across this wedge of tree trunk, chainsaw cut on the perfect angle with the heart wood core creating a great form across the face (looks a bit like the soccer world cup trophy). The sides were hit with a stiff brush only and the face orange spray coloured then sanded back. Some dry rot was drilled out and wax filled in black and orange. Two holding pegs were doweled into the final varnished face. Much work went into a base stand that in house design control advised against using in the end. Even more so than CDs it is an opportunity to display album cover artwork as a rotating exhibition.

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This 4 drawer modern beauty on legs was discovered on the streets of Surry Hills in May 2012. A Circa 1965 piece? It was complete with all drawers and these stunning concave copper handles. Except, frustratingly ‘1’ of them. Even the screw was still in place. So as you can see the 4th or bottom handle is a ring in from another street find. The handles and chrome socks were removed and the entire unit was cut back to timber. Then the sides and front were given a fresh coat of gloss white. With the legs, drawer faces and top of the unit retained as exposed timber and varnished. The drawer internals were spray painted bright orange and the fittings all cleaned and reattached.

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sailing flotsam sculpture

1. Blue Steel ready to sail

sailing flotsam sculpture

2. Bow view

sailing flotsam sculpture

3. Port view.

sailing flotsam sculpture

4. Into the Cooks River.

sailing flotsam sculpture

5. Bon voyage

This little vessel was thrown together in 5 minutes from debris washed up along the shore of Cahill Park on the Cooks River. Without even a pocket knife on hand the styrofoam hull was shaped on the rocks and a shard of slate pushed into the foam as a keel/ rudder.  The fairly mid mounted take away food lid sail meant a feather was added to the bow to help pull the bow around in the wind. The lid sail was simply held in place by sticks sharpened on the rocks and pushed into the foam. The little Smurf holding his balls up was just for style points.

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