Ohhhhhhhh I am sooooooo in love!!! No not with Leo's masterpiece (although I do love Mona) but with my new work bench!!!!! A true masterpiece that was waiting to be rediscovered. We will never really know what it started out in life as. For sure not the produce bench we found. I fell madly in lust with the beat up old produce bench that was at an "antique" sale. It was down by the basement door because it was considered "an ugly dirty old thing" I thought it would make a perfect work bench for my little Creation Station. It didn't have to be fine furniture to make jewelry and art on. LW has the guy measure it then comes home measures the stairs and door ways and shakes his head saying it won't fit up the stairs heck it won't even fit through the door. In my mind it was already up in it's new home:) Oh don't tell me...you guys know exactly what I'm talking about!!! So I planted my stubborn little rump on the ground and said it was going in my little creation station I don't care if we have to take it apart to do it! please sweetheart :) So Monday LW walks out to the main street to catch a taxi down to the old part of town to pick up what had come to be referred to as "Your Bench" Well no taxis were anywhere so my fearless hero walks all the way, say 3 miles or so. The idea was to rent a red pickup truck-taxis for large groups to bring it home. When he gets there he innocently asks the seller how easy it might be to take the top off. Heck the guy says it's not hard at all, and grabs a big a** hammer and starts abangin!!! Yikes I can only imagine what was going through LW mind. How in the heck was he going to explain the total destruction on "Your Bench" to me!!! Well now that the top is off it will fit into the Xterra to come home LW says. Soooo my fearless Hero sets out to find a taxi to come home for the Xterra. Oh man when I saw "Your Bench" I didn't burst into tears only because I didn't want LW to feel any worse then he already did!! :(
Here she is in the patio after we got her home.
We gave her a bit of a scrub and let her dry before we took the pieces upstairs. It's when we got to cleaning her we noticed that this was not just some knock together produce bench.The base is beautifully worked ceder. If you look closely at the two top cross pieces you can see where they have a bit of a decorative flourish . There is not a nail or screw in the base. The entire piece is put together by mortise and tenon!!!
When I grow up I want to be able to take totally clear pictures all the time!!
This was put together with a lot of pride in workmanship and care. I love that the bottom rungs are rounded where the sales person stood all day with one foot resting on the cross piece. On the front of the bench the cross piece is also rounded where the customers propped their foot while visiting and picking out product. :) I'm telling you guys "Your Bench" absolutely oozes with the lives of all the families it cared for!!
Here's the old girl once LW attached her top boards.
The top boards are not put together with near the care as the base. In fact LW removed a least a gazillion nails from the top boards and the dividers. Make ya wonder if the old gal was reincarnated into the produce bench when the need arouse. The Mexican culture are masters at repurposing and giving new life to seemingly completely worthless things!! I am constantly amazed at this gift. Just when I think I've joined the ranks of the masters I find I'm still a rank amateur! :)
We really have no idea how old she is but we do know that her base is older then her top. And her top is quite old because finding ceder planks that are 12"/2" wide hasn't been possible for a good many decades. Once the top was on I set to work with my super secret antique finishing formula. Whoops not so secret huh?? I see I forgot to crop the can of Kiwi shoe wax out of the picture. :) Well anyway the poor old wood was soooo starved for a bit of oil and rubbing it soaked up two tins of wax!!! When I finished with the top boards LW attached the dividers.
I decided that all I was going to do was use the brown shoe wax. I wanted to leave all the character marks she had earn over all these years. See the darker spots?? That's what's let of the varnish when her new life as a produce bench stared. I didn't want to remove the knife marks where they slipped cutting the boxes open or where the melon was sliced in half. To me that would be like taking her voice away from her. The silky smooth feeling created from many hands over many years rubbing the wood can not be duplicated in my mind!!
LW wasn't too happy that he had to use metal supports to stabilize the fragile water damaged produce dividers. But I assured him no worries cuz I have a super secret formula that can rust those babies up to match the old wood!! ;) SO after seeing her I bet you can completely understand why I have fallen madly in love?? Man just the inspiration karma she oozes is amazing!!!
I'm willing to bet that if the guy who sold her to us saw her now he wouldn't be calling her that ugly dirty old thing!!! And I know for a fact he'd be kicking his own butt for selling "Your Bench" as cheap as he did :)
On that note Bloglandians I'll see ya on the flip side and remember Now is a perfect time to make a bit of art, no matter where in the world you are p;)