So Much More than Functional.

6 01 2011

What do red birds, dusty pews, power tools, sheet music, stiff paintbrush bristles and splinters all have in common? The answer is held together in a simple yet creative display of woodwork: benches. Earlier in the year, several of us (Matt, Becky and I — Kate) stumbled across a pile of abandoned pews in the unlikely treasure trove that is Houston’s Reuse Warehouse, a holding place for reusable bits and pieces from estate sales, construction sites and the like. One short trailer ride and several sneezes later, we unloaded two of the ungainly pews into an empty space behind Ecclesia and descended upon them with screwdriver, hammer and drill in hand. Over the next several days, we proceeded to:

– strip off a set of hideously uncomfortable cushions in a visible cloud of dust
– wrestle rusty nails out of their stubborn holds in the scratched wood
–  saw each of the pews in half in order to assemble two new, whole creations from the separate quarters
–  attack them with the whining power of a belt-operated sander
– file down pointy screw ends by hand
–  drill holes for newer, stronger bolts
– attach sturdier sides and support pieces
– cover the sanded wood with several coats of fresh paint
– add a few layers of varnish
– and finally adorn the final product with unique touches, including musical notes and bird silhouettes

At one point in the bench-making process, we had an audience of three or four homeless friends who alternately called out joking comments on our handling of the power tools, gave encouraging words of positive feedback regarding our paint choices, and even provided offers of help — which we gladly took them up on, of course. Whether or not we end up installing the recycled pew-to-bench creations at a bus stop, a taco truck or a nearby park, they are sure to add an extra dose of color and creativity to the preexistent community flair in the First Ward and we can’t wait until neighbors take us up on the invitation to “come and rest your weary sole.”



One response

6 01 2011
Jason & Jenni Shaffer

THey Are A-mazing…
beautiful work is done by beautiful people!

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