Just a silly movie…
One of the goals in the new workshop is to give a second life to used materials. To me it just makes no sense to throw away perfectly good materials and buy new ones. Especially when they come from natural resources. Felling a tree, bringing it to a sawmill, cutting it down to planks, storing it to dry, milling and transporting it to various vendors takes up tremendous amounts of time, work and energy. Fossil fuels are limited, so we should be careful with what we have left. It took our society little more than a century to burn up almost all fossil energy that took the earth millions of years to store.
This old workbench was found in an old shed near the shop and destined to be trashed. You can see this bench was never made to be pretty, it only had to be useful. Dirt, dents and scratches show it was used a lot. In one corner I even found a little calculation, little signs of life from the past. Measurements for a chair or table? Perhaps a bookcase?
Unfortunately it was too big for the workshop, so I had to take it apart. The top ended up at the wall to serve as a tool board. Legs were used to make the tops for three workbenches. The patina was preserved with a mixure of tung and linseed oil.
I like to work with tools and materials that have a story, remnants of an earlier life contained in them. Sometimes the damage an object suffers along its life only adds character to it. In some branches of Eastern philosophy an artifact like that are even more precious. An old piece of pottery is valued higher than a new one and cracks were repaired with gold lacquer in a technique called ‘kintsugi‘.
It’s completely different from the western throw-away-culture. Maybe in the end, when our natural resources die out, we will have to change that way of thinking? Or even better; before it comes this far. And I know we will not change or save the world with little things like this, and that’s not my intention either. But I do believe that it can make us more conscious and respectful, both towards our fellow human beings and this little world we live in. And perhaps we will prove to be smart enough to solve or avoid at least some of the problems our species face. In a simple, more creative way, by taking care. To make the best use, instead of abusing our surroundings, and leaving a better world for generations to come.