Saturday, March 26, 2011

Waste Knot Want Knots

I can't let good trash go to waste. It pains and pleases me to see so much of what people toss out. (I'll save my thoughts on all 'have-to-have-it' consumerism for another post.) You've heard the idiom before, "One man's trash is another man's treasure" and I for one am always on the look out for trash treasures.

There isn't a better city than New York for trash picking. On my weekly hunts, I've lassoed the following great finds: a four poster bed, two cane backed chairs, an antique rotating and folding desk-dining table combo, three 46" color televisions, two french-door kitchen cabinets, three brass and marble lamps; and a full length, hardwood church pew found in front of Yeshiva University. This is not the complete list, just some of my favorites that after a little renovation became permanent fixtures in the apartment.

Chicago has yet to yield anything close to the dumpster finds New York coughed up. Maybe it's because I'm looking in the wrong neighborhoods or Chicagoans are more frugal than New Yorkers. I don't know but I am happy to report, that at least five-hundred pounds of wood was saved from being thrown into a Chicago land fill this week.

Recently, the building we live in replaced the wood wall coverings in the lobby and threw the three hundred or so planks behind the dumpster in the garage. "Can I have this?" I excitedly asked the Super. "You want that shit you can have it." I carted that "shit" away so fast it made his head spin. Now, what was I going to do with it? 

A blank page or canvas can be a daunting thing to look at and so too can five-hundred pounds of laminated wood planks. I was determined to do something with this "shit". I took out the X-Acto blades and started cutting and carving and presto! Carved and  painted panels from shit. (See accompanying images.) All it took was one small step and the Process took over.

I'm still not sure what I'll do with the remainder of the four-hundred and ninety-five pounds of planks but rest assure that their knots will not be tossed in the trash.
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