Wednesday 20 January 2010

drawer for books (how i acquire drawers)

my drawers are lost & found, saved & given and sometimes purchased...
lost & found - fairly rare, found on the street or in a skip. saved & given - since working with reclaimed materials a few good friends have saved a few odd pieces for me to work with (all donations are welcome) others are sometimes purchased.
spotted this morning, a trader selling books at a car boot sale presented and stored in a single drawer from a victorian chest of drawers. this is often the starting point for thinking about a new piece of furniture to make.
for a few years now at every market, car boot, garage sale or house clearance i go to i'm always on the look out for another interesting drawer. traders often use drawers to carry goods in. if i spot an odd drawer that i particularly like i ask if the trader will sell it to me. sometimes they are amazed that i want to buy an odd drawer, sometimes they are happy to pass it on. at other times people want to keep the odd drawer more than it's contents as the drawer has become a tool of more value than its contents to the trader.
if the trader is willing let me have the drawer i normally try to find out a bit more of the drawers history. almost 100% of the time the seller doesn't know how they came to have only one odd drawer and rarely have any idea what type of piece of furniture it came from. very often the drawer is dirty or damaged and found in a shed, garage or attic space.
i ask about the history of the drawer as i have made it my rule to never use a drawer that already has a use in an existing piece of furniture. i never discard a carcass to get the drawers. this is one of the reasons why making a new piece of furniture can take me such a long time, even if i find a drawer that i really love the chances of finding a further suitable combination of drawers to work together is very low. finding the right combination takes time, there is no B&Q of drawers. hence i have accumulated a huge collection of odd drawers that i stare at daily to try to find new works in.
i love the drawer i spotted this morning, well made, good proportions, old paintwork with a great well used patina, missing it's brothers and sisters from a grand victorian chest. i didn't even ask the seller if he would sell it to me, he had the appearance of a regular trader that had a genuine practical use for the drawer so i'd rather not split them up for now, this is one of the other reasons making new furniture can sometimes take so long. keep searching.

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