6/30/12

if i can do it so can you



well i have always wanted to make pallet stuff but never could bring myself to get some.  lazy?  fear of toxic stuff? self doubt about wobbly things being created?

yesterday, wait.  nope...two days ago, i was at the job site NOT WORKING but hanging out. yes, i didnt work 1 hour this week, not one.  the pressure i felt to do things i dont wanna do in horrible heat was lifted and i get that they get it about what i can and can't, will and wont do.  what a relief.  i even tried to help but it was obvious i wasnt needed.  wound my ego?  nope :)

anyhow. while i was there someone dropped by that we all know who works for the city and they were off to dump some pallets.  he knows i will take just about anything and my friend cassy was with me and we both wanted them. she got a beauty with really thick pieces of wood that i believe will be turned into a shoe rack.  i took the others.  next part i dreaded: removing the wood.  in order to get them into my car i decided to do it right then and there.  at least try.  its hard.  i got help.  in fact i pretty much stood there and observed a master at work removing them faster than i could fathom. all that was left was gong home and removing all the nails. so, i lugged the wood home and cut it and nailed pieces together/wood screwed others and wahla. i have a simple little coffee table 'bout 33" in length and 19" wide.  little area underneath to store my laptop and other crap that i hate having on top all the time.  since i dont own a tv i watch everything online on the coffee table but doesnt mean i want it there 24/7.

i put some rebar inbetween the 2 legs.  is it indestructible?  hell no.  does it wobble?  no.  is it 100% even? well i dont know cuz i live in a loft with an uneven concrete floor.  i did have to remove one leg and redo it as it was too uneven.  but now it seems fine, especially on my bamboo floor mat. 

did i clean it really really well?  no.  did i sand it.  no.  did i stain or finish the wood. NO. i even used old rusty nails and reused wood screws.  there was a fervor involved whereby i didnt want to take long, didnt want to make something amazing. just something nice, simple and functional.  furniture making is hard.  really hard.  taking all those dang boards off is just as hard.  yesterday i got 4 more pallets and today i almost gave myself a stroke out there crowbarring them off. old old old wood that is just stuck on there and cracking like mad.  i figure i can at least cut it and use the good parts.  looks like barn wood some of it.

i have a new appreciation for the folks on line who sell pallet furniture.  i now know why it is so expensive.  its really hard work.  and i cut corners and made a relatively simple thing.  i will work on something else perhaps soon....i'm all out of sorts with what i'm doing.  every since i decided to try to make my flowers differently, using more of a screw or nut/bolt approach i've not made ONE flower.   every since i sold a bunch of candle holders i've not done much else....i just ruined yet ANOTHER 100 dollar blade trying to cut some old thick metal.  it kills me to think i spend about $600 a year on blades and i could probably buy a much better machine for that price but it would be too big and heavy to move outside to use. 

i'm distracted too by the feeling of time running out....sooner or later i will get more neighbors and they will be students most probably and it WILL be more noisy again.  and i WILL HATE IT.  and i wont sleep well.  i feel like i need to stay in this downtown area and i would love to have a workspace indoors.  but WHERE??????? 

distracted even further by that new laptop that i got a few weeks ago.  i've yet to integrate my other 2 with it as its a windows 7 and the others are xp.  my whole synchronization of toolbar/password/browser stuff....email .....suffice to say i feel spread thin and scattered.  accomplishing little.  hence the table that had to be made pronto.  accomplish something just to derive some satisfaction. instant gratification.

13 comments:

Viktoria said...

You made a super cool table Paula!!!!
I always admired pallets furnitures!

I´m fighting with workspace furniture making too right now...

deborah from collagewhirl said...

The rebar is a really nice touch. You go woman!

And, thanks for telling me last year to recycle my old corner desk into a corner worktable--it's awesome :-)

paula said...

you both have made me smile thank you :)

Dawn of LaTouchables said...

I've always admired handmade furniture. Who knows where this could lead you, Paula. You have a special gift for turning the mundane into avant-garde artful pieces.

Lisa D. said...

I love this and would love to make one!

Wonder if I could???

I'm not ven sure where you get these pallets

You always have such good ideas : )

Have a great day!

paula said...

well dawn, i woulda never thought of this as avant garde but i like the thought of it :) thank you!
and lisa. OF COURSE YOU CAN DO THIS. seriously! look around, behind almost any business there are pallets and some might charge you $1 or 2 for them or you can just find them leaning here and there. ask! you'd be surprised. you could even do a craigslist or freecycle.org askage. i have no doubt you would make a wonderful piece of furniture, its like a puzzle you take it apart and then put it back together except in a different way. it is cool...but damn hard work getting the wood and nails!

Lisa D. said...

Thanks Paula, I will keep my eye out for a few.

andrea said...

NOW I know why, every time I pass an alley or something with a pile of pallets I'm strangely drawn to them. WANT. This is totally awesome.

Here's a question that I probably know the answer to but have to ask anyway: Why don't you teach? If you lived in a more art-friendly (and RICH) area you could hold regular workshops on How To Make Cool Industrial Art and people would be banging down your doors to get in. I know I would and I NEVER take workshops or classes. I'd even be your assistant and deal with the kinds of people you hate so you wouldn't have to. :)

paula said...

Andrea I am pleased by your comment. I think why I don't do workshops has more to do with my lack of knowledge and good tools. It seems like every tool I have is suffering in one way or another. Knowledge and skill....I barely get by. I don't know how to correctly put anything together and even this table is not as solid as I want. I don't feel qualified bottom line. I guess too I can't believe there is anything for me to actually teach.....ya wanna make something just grab stuff and try it. How to charge for something you don't need me for? But thank you.....maybe one day I will bang on your door and hand you a name tag. You surprised me with that,thanks for making my day

Sarah said...

Amazing, as always, Paula. My husband's niece reminds me of you. She is a Jill of All Trades and made some beautiful wine racks out of upcycled pallets. Seeing all the hard work that goes into these works of art gives me a renewed respect for people who work with this medium.

paula said...

Thankyou sarah, I too have appreciations!

ArtPropelled said...

Yum! Your palette furniture is amazing!!

The Minimalist said...

How are you Paula? Nice upcycling!