Drawing by Dave Wilder (2013)
Our RtN (Return-to-Nature) outdoor furniture built to-date has been of a rather passive nature. It’s placed outdoors, footed in the earth or on flat stones, and remains at the whim of nature: weathered by sun, rain, snow, and wind, deteriorated by insects, fungus, and microbes, until it eventually “returns to nature.”
The architect Michele Bruno envisions a more interactive process, “mid-way” in nature’s course of events, where the furniture embraces natural activity more fully and functionally. He sees the value of allowing interaction in the piece that embodies habitats for birds, and plantings of flowers or grasses, as an integral part of the RtN process.
Michele’s vision is the inspiration for this sketch of a possible project.
– Wendell Castle (2012)
Many of the Dockwood Furniture creations comprise a product line we call RtN, that is: Return-to-Nature. These pieces are for outdoor use, and are intended to gradually decompose due to weathering, rust, and wood rot.
Foreground – RtN Drinks Table (2012)
Background – The Bamboo Curtain (2013), outdoor sculpture/privacy screen
Untitled drawing – Dave Wilder (c. 1992)
This bench was built from a single piece of lumber (3 x 12 x 10 feet) from a long-ago destroyed dock, washed up into our yard during Hurricane Sandy. We came up with the notion of an almost gothic, pew-like bench. We cut it into three pieces, then decided it would look elegant to have the side pieces at an angle. The triangular pieces that we then cut from the ends of the seat made for perfect supports between it and the uprights. It’s currently in the garden because we have no room for it in the house!
Flotsam / ‘flätsem / • n. the wreckage of a ship or its cargo found floating on or washed up by the sea.
Jetsam / ‘jetsem / • n. unwanted material or goods that have been thrown overboard from a ship and washed ashore, esp. material that has been discarded to lighten the vessel.
– New Oxford American Dictionary, Second Edition (2005)