I’ve been up-cycling!
Painting furniture in an antique Scandinavian style, inspired by an inherited table and long case clock from my Danish grandmother.
Up-cycling has been an exploration into my heritage, my maternal roots. It has been fun and and it has been grounding for me. A satisfying learning curve when life’s got a bit tricky. Finding pieces of ugly, unwanted furniture to rescue has been reassuring. A place for me to meditate quietly on life and death, age and ageing and quality.
Up-cycling is trendy. It has a positive buzz to it. A bit green, a bit creative, a bit arty.
Up is one of my favourite words!
I am always thinking and talking about up. The up that’s up there! The big up, that takes us up!
Understanding the power of up strengthens my structure, thinking up, my body follows. Up makes me feel good.
I have one rule for my up-cycled furniture, the piece must be well made. It must have a solid structure. It doesn’t matter what it looks like as long as it is well built. If it is well built it will last. The piece of furniture will have a useful future. I will give it new life. I will make it beautiful again, desirable. I will add value.
It is the same for my body, I must have a solid structure, a supportive skeleton to have a useful future. Being balanced adds value to my life. I don’t want to collapse like a cheap chair that doesn’t have good joints. I want joints that dovetail seamlessly in my life. Not joints that hurt. I don’t want my upholstery to be straining under my weight. A saggy body in a saggy chair.
So I am up-cycling my life as well as brown furniture. Thinking about the shape of my legs as I paint the shapely legs of a nest of tables. Thinking about my supportive back as I decorate the backs of old farmhouse style chairs with hearts and flowers, birds and leaves, my interpretation of the traditional peasant style.
Why did my Scandinavian ancestors traditionally paint pine furniture in bright colours? To cheer themselves up during the long dark nordic nights. To feel better. Well made solid cheerful furniture for a well supported up-flowing body.