Thursday, March 12, 2015

Gleaning.....Discards to Decor

I have recently ( well in the last few months) discovered the complete and utter bliss of rescuing old pieces of furniture and other debris/ treasures from the kerb sides around Brisbane.
Council pick up days must be a picker's paradise. People have been doing this for years  and it,s amazing to see the numbers of trucks, utes, and cars with trailers all busily...and I do mean busy...picking their way through the heaps to "stuff" piled on the footpaths. It's a whole other world..a subculture of traders and artisans.
I know "picking " is the buzz word for this sort of activity, but I am besotted with the word gleaning.  Gleaning is a time honored occupation celebrated by artists and writers, and in certain countries, France in particular , it is nearly a national pastime.  Remember Jean FrancoisMillet's beautiful painting The Gleaners? Here, gleaning of course refers to the agricultural waste that the farmers
don' t want. For a modern take on the subject, there is the wonderful 2000 French film by Agnes Varda ...The Gleaners and I. 
Gleaning is about recycling and the usage of the word can be transferred to an urban environment where people go out and collect detritus and leftovers to be repurposed....and save items  from a fate  in landfill.
I glean dirty, dusty discards and attempt to turn them into vintage decor. I am only a novice at the carpentry side of things but I am already adding to my supply of tools in my studio.
Below are some photos  of my reclaimed pieces....I keep forgetting to take the "before" shots:)
Happy gleaning to all out there!

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