Saturday, December 02, 2023

Day 89...The Wordwork Project.


Awhile back, reader Nick S got me thinking...

About how few things are permanent and truly lasting in our lives.

An exception to that rule of thumb?

I made the little cabinet, above, in 1973 during grade 9 woodwork.

That's fifty years ago now.


Today, the little cabinet went into the rental van with the rest of littler e's possessions, all of which are now safe and sound in her new Rhoda Morgensternish studio apartment tucked into the very tippy-top of one of those big old houses off Commercial Drive.

Imagine that!

Only five days left in HellTerm...



Evil Eye said...

I still have my bookcase which I built in grade 12 in shop, in 1973.

RossK said...


Common ground in woodworking!


e.a.f. said...

Oh no, the children have moved out. Empty Nestors? On the upside, there is more room for another labadoodle.

I inherited a small book case from the sibling which was made by her father BACK IN THE Mid 50s. Parents frequently built desks, book cases, doll cribs for their children. Sopme have been passed down. It is very cool when people build thijgs which remain i the family.

Love the little cabinet.
Thank you for sharing

Danneau said...

It's, um. er, ashtray. (Description of any or all art projects from Mrs. O'Donahue's Grade 7 Art class at Marina, 1963. Turning nothingness into a different nothingness. So much usefulness in what you have wrought!

Evil Eye said...

Custom furniture from school is almost a thing from the past.

I was not skilled in the art of woodworking (or metal working), but still have projects of fiasco's long past; a small tin hold-all; a metal gauge for scribing lines up to 1/4 inch; the book case, as mentioned; and of course those metal rod forks twisted into shape in grade 8 shop.

Today kids don't have a clue in using a saw or even a hammer or most dangerously, no real knowledge of electricity (which my fireman friend d tells me is a cause of a lot of fires).

It seems the "post-colonial" world the higher purpose persons (also the wealthy) are trying to make us live in has many pitfalls the we poor colonial types avoided.

So I hope your littler cherishes this non-Ikea cabinet and with a good polish now and they, he/she will find that mahogany does not de-laminate and actually improves with age.

Simply daddy could build something, today's lot could not, because in my house good old analog me, is deemed nothing more than a museum piece.

Scotty on Denman said...


I made a rock hammer in metal shop in grade nine (1970). I still have it and still use it—but I never used it for rocks (we used 80% dynamite instead).

I love stuff like that—school projects that were squirrelled away or put to use for years and years. One of my faves is my darling’s childhood painting, tempera on pulp, of the refinery in Ioco —back in the 50s. It can’t take the air and light so I have it safely curated away—I bring it out once in a while to look at it. I love it. In fact, from that I developed a taste for industrial art—or artworks of mills, factories, shipyards and the like. Since Iv’e always been a connoisseur of “bad art” (it has to be ‘so bad it’s good’), this subgenre —of which there is a surprisingly huge supply that I’ve seen so far, so there must be literally a ton of it still squirrelled away in attics, garages and basements. It’s like an iceberg, only ever see the tip.

My most horrible experience in this regard was the time I was pursuing a batch of bad art in a Sally Anne bin years ago. A little old lady joined me rummaging through the various renditions of cats, hopelessly horrible portraits (“self-,” I suspected) and eyeball-shrivelling perspectives of boats in harbours; she hauled out one on a small Grumbacher hardboard canvas and mistakenly commended me on my economy, hers being to reuse the hardboard to paint over top of. And I shuddered to think of how much perfectly good bad art met such a thoughtless fate.

But pieces of utility, especially of such vintage and provenance are treasures that last!

JP said...

Interesting post, Ross.

I have a pedestal table that I built when I was 12 years old with a beautifully crafted by lathe pedestal leg that I'm rather proud of.

My friend sent me a text this morning showing me a few nice old wooden pieces in the trash that she thought I might be interested in.
Unfortunately, I don't have the time or space for these items.

It got us discussing about a mutual friend that had recently purchased a new dining set. we nodded and smiled and made the proper social niceties while inwardly cringing.

We both own beautiful dining sets built in Ontario in the sixties.

Serious craftmanship!

I've saved many beautiful pieces over the years and enjoy them so much!

No fucking dust and glue in my home!

Evil Eye said...

JP, just a comment.

I dabble in the antiques trade and being rather an antique myself (my kids call me Mr. Analog) I can tel you this.

You can purchase today a 1930's to 50's solid wood, maple, walnut dining room suite for under $500, including 4 to 6 chairs, adjustable table and a buffet/side board.

Just too big for the shoe box sized apartments the government insist on allowing to be built.

I inherited from my neighbor a 1920's student desk, solid walnut. When my kids finished the need for such a desk, I tried to sell it. first $50 (ha, ha, ha);, then $25 (ha, ha, ha, ha), then for $10 at a garage sale.

I was offered $1 for it, which I rejected and I salvaged the lovely Art Deco Bakelite drawer pulls (8 of them) and reduced the desk for firewood. I later sold the Bakelite drawer Pulls for $100 on line!

Go figure.

JP said...

@ Evil Eye

tiny apartments can't handle this beautiful furniture, sadly.

I'll be sad when I retire and move and won't be able to keep my beautiful things. They really are art pieces in my opinion.

On the other hand, it will be a lot of fun finding some wonderful things in Europe.

Enjoy your items while you can!

Trailblazer said...

We landed penniless in Canada in 1974.
Our first furniture! was an 8 ft piece of plywood mounted on birch log cutoffs.
The same piece of plywood still exists as two guest bedroom side tables though the original stain is now painted over with the colour of the day.
In 1978 I purchase a well used Coldspot upright freezer which I replaced last year for a more compact model!
FWIW , I still have the same wife for nearly 50 years but I dont think I will replace her or even give her a fresh coat of paint!
To be honest she does most of the painting..

Life is good.
Especially in Canada.


RossK said...


I'm so sorry that I missed your comment earlier.

Life is, indeed, good - especially in Canada.

Thanks for reminding us!