The heft and feel of a well-worn handle,
The sight of shavings that curl from a blade;
The logs in the wood pile, the sentiment of huge beams in an old-fashioned house;
The smell of fresh cut timber and the pungent fragrance of burning leaves;
The crackle of kindling and the hiss of burning logs.
Abundant to all the needs of man, how poor the world would be
Without wood.

Everard Hinrichs, quoted by Eric Sloane in A Reverence for Wood


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sign of the Times - Pallet Art

Walking across campus a couple of months ago, I noticed something that caused me to do a double-take. There, right behind the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State, was a statuesque artistic work made from...pallets!

Now, when one encounters a new piece of lawn art in high-profile public places, they're usually large, metal or granite, and indistinguishable from something in the back corner of a scrap yard. And obviously expensive.

But as I gazed on this work of beauty, it kind of grew on me, in an ugly-duckling sort of way.  After all, it was made of wood, and it was weirdly included a giant checkers table with chairs that would comfortably seat (and support!) the largest sumo wrestler.

I walked around this thing several times, trying to get the sense of it and to get into the mind of the artist(s). Ok, I have pallets, and I'm an architecture student that is dating an art student, and we both have a term project due next week. And I like to sit outside, drink beer, and play checkers. Put it all together, and voila!

In these days of "austerity", maybe pallet art will catch on. Imagine, art in the parks that will actually shelter homeless people, and amuse them at the same time. And even if they burn it in the winter to stay warm, there are always plenty of pallets where those came from.

Pallet art. Another value-added wood product is born. Sell this to the municipal city planners, it'll fetch a couple hundred thousand, at least.


The Corvallis Branch of the Edewards Family said...

There is a restaurant in Corvallis that is quite upscale, and they have pallets stained, polished and hanging on the wall. It is actually quite striking.

Johan Mathiesen said...

Having built a house out of pallet wood (not too far from Corvallis), I appreciated your post. Great stuff, thanks.