Way back in December of 2013, we posted a photograph of a small pile of dockwood in its original state that we planned to turn into our third Dockwood bench (see below).
We fabricated the bench in 2014, and after finally photographing it last year, we’re getting around to posting it here. It’s a two-person, “love-seat” kind of bench, its width determined by the length of the key piece of lumber that was perfect for a backrest.
We’ve moved our posts on three of our sculptures, “Sketches for a Sculpture in Progress,” “See-Snake,” and “Football Hero and His Fairy Princess Girlfriend By their Special Rock” to our Sculpture page.
This piece is made of extremely weathered elements of teak, flotsam from wrecked boats, that have been left in the rough, unfinished state in which we salvaged them.
Narrative / ‘naretiv / > n. a spoken or written account of connected events; a story . . .
– New Oxford American Dictionary, Second Edition (2005)
The narrative for our furniture is as old as mankind itself. From the time that we became “humankind,” we had to relate to and with Nature to survive. Man’s use of wood is a story that begins at the beginning, and is continued with our work. The basic plotline is: From Nature to Man, back to Nature, then back to Man again. So, wood is cut in a forest and used by Man to create something, then and it wears out and is reclaimed by Nature. The Dockwood concept is to again reclaim, and up-cycle, that material, to keep the story going.
Boat docks are simple, and rough in their construction, but strong. Time-tested engineering makes them last as long as possible. But when they are ultimately destroyed by storms or worn out by ceaseless wave action and the drilling of shipworms, they continue their role as characters in the Man/Nature narrative.
The narrative is continued in the fabrication of each piece of our furniture. The wood remembers its history, which is perpetuated in the rough joins and exposed fasteners in our work. We don’t try to force the material to be something it never was. And if you sit on one our benches, or run your hand over the surface of the wood, both smoothed and roughened by decades of use and wear, riddled by the thousands of shipworms, you yourself become part of the narrative.
It’s said that a good story bears repetition. We feel that ours is as universal and timeless as Nature itself.
Now that Spring is finally burgeoning greenly here on our little island, it feels like a look back to our bitterly cold and snowy winter is called for, just to remind us that things can always get better!
Covered by about eight successive snowfalls, this shot of our “side garden” was taken in February. From left to right, one can make out our RtN Occasional Table 2, RtN Garden Bench 2, RtN Drinks Table, and the Hurricane Sandy Single-plank Mud Room Bench.