Over the last few months, I have not been writing much here, or seemingly doing much at all. Actually life has been quite hectic, and out of the clouds of sawdust has emerged this wardrobe. This was a commissioned piece by a very patient customer, who wanted to have something unique and interesting, which would be a family heirloom as well. Hence the interesting design of the wardrobe.
The timber used in this piece has its own story. The carcass of the wardrobe is made from customer supplied Rimu timber, that was recycled from a garage renovation. The darker coloured timber is also Rimu, but this was milled from a log that had washed up against a road bridge, from Te Waikoropupū Springs . the darker look is caused by soaking in the river for a good many years. The front tongue in groove was recovered from homes around Nelson. The poplar back panels, were also off cuts from some ones home panelling.
The wardrobe doors have a curved centre mullion, which caused considerable headaches as I went to fit it. On the outside of the carcass the integral legs, reflect the buttress of a tree with their gentle outward slope. The curves are taken a little further with the top architrave having a subtle curve as well. The observant amongst you will notice that the handle changed from the original small version to a far more organic one once installed. This recycled handle was offered as a choice and chosen as it simply looked a better fit for the wardrobe.
Inside is the brass rail for the clothes hangers. This is held up but holders in the shape of leaves. These leaves are made of both dark and light rimu, and look superb against the brass rail. The back of the wardrobe is panelled in poplar. The white of the poplar will help make the inside of the wardrobe feel brighter and lighter.
The piece was delivered today, and had looks simply fantastic in place. The customer was very happy as well, which is the ultimate goal.
Over the last year I have ben privileged to have been part of the Whole House Reuse Project (WHR project). this project was started a few years ago as a result of the Christchurch Earthquakes, and the subsequent demolition of 1000s of home, often with little or no recycling. The Whole House Reuse Project concept was to demolish a families home, but keep all parts from the demolition. Then all the parts were given to artists around New Zealand to create something from.
The project is coming to a close, and has an exhibition at the Canterbury museum, from 5 June 2015 to 23 August 2015.
There has been a good amount of media coverage including this clip on Stuff. The New Zealand Herald had this article which shows some of the materials.
With the Whole House Reuse project, all the materials are recycled. Read about the materials in this post
The bench seat was the first project I had in mind, when considering the materials. There were a number of lengths of weatherboard, mostly quite short that needed an interesting new life. I enjoy making benches, so wanted to use these for the bench. But instead of having the weatherboard running the length of the seat, I decided to run them across the width.
In the last post I talked about the Whole House Reuse project (WHR). Over the last couple of weeks I have made some progress with beginning the bench seat.
Actually to be perfectly honest, I have had some assistance from Jakob. Jakob is working in the orchard down the road, and finds the weekends a little slow. Apparently there isn’t a heap load to do in Tasman in the weekend. He is from Germany, and having a one year working holiday. So Jakob is giving me a hand in the workshop, and in return he is making a chessboard and box.
So back to the WHR project bench seat. The first job was to remove all the nails from the timber. Part of the WHR project is nothing is wasted, so you collect all the removed nails, and the wood offcuts.
After removing all the nails, the timber was cut to length, collecting waste on the way.
Next step was to roughly bandsaw the bench seat shape into the weatherboards. Then these were shaped on the spindle moulder.
So we have lovely stacks of shaped seat pieces ready for a moment in which I get to glue them all together.