The stories reside in the timber

Last time I wrote about the respect for and desire to re-cycle, re-purpose, re-create based on an upbringing of no tolerance for waste. I really value this as a deeply good principle for many of my choices in life. To me, it seems that it is in the ‘DNA’ of any object to transmit something of its story.

Old carpets, patchworked from ancient Persian/ Iranian remnants become something totally unique when sewn together. When I roll one out it is as if the stories are embedded in the fabrics – which belly dancers have caroused upon you? Which Bedouin tent did you enrich?

Persian rug

With furniture, the stories reside in the timber, metal and fabric. Every table has stories to tell. History, battles, loves, laughter and all the unspoken psychological struggles of the human beings who sat around it, dined there and shared relationships. Whenever re-creating such a piece using Chalk Paint, the scratches, pits and imperfections invariably reveal something lovely. What could be seen to be signs of stress become the most attractive and interesting spots within the furniture piece. Anyone who has done this will understand this very point – that moment of joyful anticipation when you are about to sand across the ‘flaw’ – for therein lies the greatest beauty.

Pits and cuts in timber contain untold stories of the people and places this desk, chair or table graced. We can ‘tune in’ to a language of the history and stories of these pieces which a flat packed module can never compete with.

So duck out the shed or look again in that back room. If these are empty check out a car boot sale or garage sale. Bring a tired old piece back to life by listening to it whispering stories to you as you paint it smoothly, sand it gently and wax it back to a new pride. There are more stories for that piece to contain and they can be created in your home.