This desk represents a huge investment of time and energy, but a sound investment. It is designed and built to support my vocation, both my daily tasks and the heart and sole of what we do.
Writing slant. The iPad of the 19th century. Technology has eased the burden of performing our tasks on the road, but there has always been a need to conduct business mobile. Now I find the luxury of having a slant from the past to support my writing wonderful. Beautiful highly functional pieces are not a new invention and the need for security and privacy has not changed.
Cast iron base E.&G. Brooke Birds Burro PA. From an era when functional things where expected to be beautiful. This industrial table base (definitely not school as evidenced by the Machine adjustments at the top. Perhaps sewing but no treadle attachments.) did not require graceful lines great proportions and a wonderful theme to perform its job but it has them. We want them too. Make it look cool is appropriate instruction. Beauty and function together are the best design. And heart, at the center of this base is heart. Heart is at the center of all we want to do.
The carpenters vice Chicago Illinois. It is nice to have something from the city where I got my prosthetic orthotic education. My time at Northwestern was fantastic for the education, the peers I learned with and the living in the city experience. Evening of the performance student prices to the Chicago Symphony orchestra could not be passed up and I do not discount some of those world class experiences as essential to my learning. Just as those broad experiences influence me I often speak of how in our field we borrow and steal from many fields. The carpenters vise is a great example. Designed to not be in the way of the table surface but always handy. From its inception an extension hand. Holding things at the same level as your chosen work surface, it is my choice for this blended work desk.
I collected images as ideas for this project, eclectic, industrial, high design. As I began work in earnest on the “box” of the desk I found myself studying a favorite desk: the desk Frank Lloyd Wright did for the S C Johnson Wax building in Racine Wisconsin. I frequently find the furniture that architects design among my favorite pieces. High purpose but wonderful lines. Amazing that this building and desk date to 1936. I have decided to make my sturdy work piece float as much as possible. Both top surface and bottom will be grounded on the right but float on the left. A funny aside I learned Frank Lloyd Wright originally designed the accompanying chair three legged. Some ergonomics and active sitting was a part of that thought process. Only when he was asked to sit in the chair and fell over did he give up on the three legs and allow its redesign. Often his ideas only latter had the materials and engineering to be truly successful. With the changes on active sitting today I suspect he may have come up with a better solution.
Tree stumps the best base for an anvil. Even though anvils are no longer an essential in a Prosthetics and Orthotics Lab it is that connection that made me desire the stump to elevate my work surface. These come from the property at 310 Airport Road, Kinston.
My vocation runs so sacred to me that it even influences my advocation. Knife making has become a hobby pursuit of mine, its origins in my work. Being exposed to heat working metal bending and hammer shaping when first in the field. I never worked anywhere where they forged joints but have known those who did. When finally deciding on tools I should always have on me a knife was one of those essentials. So I have now pattern welded steel and forged my fist knives.
Lamp part bright idea, part assembled story, part control center. I use lighting systems in my home, but until a good awareness system is readily available nothing beats a simple switch but I want it right where it is easy and accessible how about a few outlets, and a bulb reflecting the past not yet outlawed. All this wrapped up in assembled industrial art with some prosthetic components heat colored thrown in.
Coffee cup drainage rack. The rake handle a reminder that God makes the broken beautiful. The rake served me well for more then twenty years before failing. It’s simple weathered shape and long history had me put it aside for repurposing. Observing my normal office habits I realized I wanted a dedicated place for letting my coffee cup dry. The rake is a beautiful place to do it.
Foot bridge. Barn board from my new home Wilson county NC. So I knew I wanted reclaimed wood for my foot shelf. I just needed a small piece and it seemed whole barns or hundreds of board feet was the only thing available when I first looked. As I got closer to the end of the project I got on Google more of the same, but then I found a link to a seller on etsy right size good looking barn board. Hold on it is from Wilson NC cool and done. Getting a few details from Nancy: Barn on a property with a house built in 1925 hey I will meet you since your so close and get it to you. It was a joy to meet her and another reminder of just how much my God cares for me. Although Nancy was not sure the smells when working the wood left no doubt that it was from a bright leaf tobacco barn. Wilson is home of the the largest tobacco market so just another great fit.
Growing near Boston I had unique opportunities to climb the steeple of Park Street Church. I was fascinated by the graffiti left behind. A very old history of people who had journeyed those steps before me. Park street church was the tallest building in the United States for 36 years, even when I made that climb it was a scary adventure. In the spirit of leaving a mark long preserved for others to see but only those who make that same journey, I invite my residents to sign my desk.
I pray I add to the story of your life.