Posts Tagged REvision Division

Revision Division planters help define a community gathering space

As many of you know, Community Food Co-op has opened their eagerly-awaited new storefront for their deli on the corner of Holly Street and Forest in downtown Bellingham. The Co-op asked if our Revision Division could donate and build some planter boxes to help define their large, south-facing patio outside dining area – and we were happy to help our long-time partners!

Community Co-op planters

Our designer/builders built two planters of salvaged materials: 5 feet wide, 4 feet deep, 3 feet high, with strong castor wheels for moving. Cloud Mt. Farm Center sponsored the plants for the containers. Mercantile Head Assistant, Jade Flores remarked “They have really helped turn the patio into a welcoming place for our community to spend time, congregate, and eat healthy food together.” We are proud to have played a small part in helping them define a space for gathering around good food. Check them out at the deli’s Grand Re-opening this Friday, December 4th, 5:30-10pm in coordination with the December Art Walk. More specifics about the event can be found on the Co-op’s Facebook page. See you there!

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Welcoming David Spangler to our Revision Division team!

FullSizeRender (36)We are excited to announce a new designer/builder has joined the Revision Division team! David Spangler grew up in Port Townsend, WA, where he was surrounded by local history, Queen Anne buildings, and antiques. He was also exposed to the woodshop early on by his wood working father, who made furniture and toys. As children, David and his brother were always on the hunt for found objects for use in their play. In his early twenties, David started creating miniature architectural buildings from found objects (examples, below right), branching out later to build several larger wall hanging architectural art pieces from salvaged building materials.

 

davids miniatures

A Bellingham resident since 1988, David found his way to The RE Store in 1995 and has been working for us, off and on, ever since. In 1998, he fabricated a series of little repurposed bookshelves from salvaged materials, then moved on to start an earth friendly debris hauling business that ran for over seven years. His dreams of rethinking unwanted building materials continued to brew.

Returning to work for The RE Store in 2006, and still interested in finding new life for low value discarded materials, David implemented The RE Store’s successful furniture repair program in December of 2013 that continues today. Ever excited about upcycling, and the creation, design, and building of products based off of unwanted materials, he joined the Revision Division team in February, 2015, where his varied expertise is helping us grow this program.

Check out our Revision Division showroom to see our latest repurposed and upcycled furnishings, or come get ideas and ask questions about your own projects – and give David  a warm welcome to the Revision Division team!

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The Summer of Repurposed Fun

Summers are fun. Summers are packed. And all these sunny days makes one want to go to all the little neighborhood art and community festivals that pop up on the weekends. And some truly have more unusual draws.

In Bellingham, the month of August started with some “Repurposed Fun” at a few of these festivals. Eberhard Eichner, Lead Designer/Builder of THE RE Store’s RE Vision Division, gave the strolling public two occasions to contemplate the art (and craft) of reuse.

art throwdown door

August 1st – the 4th Annual Door Art Throwdown was organized by Allied Arts in the parking lot behind the Federal Building on Cornwall St. Eberhard was one of the four teams of artists given two hours to do a door make over (all were reclaimed and donated by The RE Store). All the door artists were painters, but Eberhard decorated a reclaimed solid core door with a collage of “real” salvaged items, both sides having been given a makeover. Hung in a jamb, it retained its full functionality after the materials were added, the front side included: a “flattened” chair, a small piece of rug, a bookshelf with a rather eclectic selection of books, a former kitchen cabinet door as window, a framed picture, a wall mounted reading lamp and, last but not least, a golf club. The working title for this side was “A Room In-Between”. The back side of the door was an abstract application of door handles, mirrors and sample picture frame corners. In a Cubist, Dada-esque, and very silly fashion, it vaguely resembled a self-portrait of the artist. Title: “My Repurposed Self in a Mirror”. At the end of the event all doors were sold by silent auction as a fundraiser for Allied Arts.

make

 

And then on August 2nd, the REvison Division partnered with Bellingham’s Make.Shift Gallery in giving their annual block party a repurposed “Built-In”. Eberhard took his tools and tubs of marginal, orphaned and overstocked RE Store material to the street. Similar to his regular Saturday in-store building demos, he constructed on the spot a gallery seat grouping for the Make.Shift main gallery space. Two Windsor-type chairs were “joined at the hip” by former bed frame boards, crib rails and arm rests. They were oriented in love seat fashion opposing each other. Two loose side chairs or stools of different elevations completed the arrangement. He used underpinnings of salvaged barstool legs, and for the seats, heat exchange grates.

Randomly selected hinges acted as fasteners, plumbing parts as accents and two rows of the springy type of door stoppers gave it “interactive” detail. Now, the tired or contemplative gallery viewers can rest their bones, while looking at art on the walls. The gallery seat will be a permanent feature in the Make.Shift gallery.

Both of these demos, and the resulting pieces, gave the public a further example of how, why, and where repurpose works. And, as the packed summer fades into fall, they will tell of the repurposed fun we’ve had and provide good summer memories to reflect upon.

 

 

 

 

 

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Volunteer Finds Creative REuse in Off-cast Manufacturing Materials

Brandon McNamara, a Western Washington University student has been volunteering with The RE Store in the Revision Division for three months now on a weekly basis. He has worked independently and alongside Eberhard Eichner, Lead Designer/Builder of the Revision Division.  These crates are the first of many projects he plans to be involved with. Come find them in the Bellingham Revision Division showroom!  

crates and shelves

By definition, a crate is a slatted wooden case used for storing goods. These pragmatic crates allow you to do so with entirely repurposed materials. The wooden slates had previously been the rungs of ladders for bunk beds from a local manufacturer. The construction process was rather simple and straightforward.

  • The wooden slates came to us precut and finished
  • Holes were drilled into the slates and a jig was used to put the sides together
  • The sides were attached to each other using recycled screws
  • The bottom was then attached and then finished with light oiling

Thanks to Brandon for his work with us, and for writing the details of this piece!

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Benches Make Good Readers

village books childrens section benchFor a few days only the Revision Division showroom at The RE Store in Bellingham will exhibit a bench that soon will be installed at Village Books in Fairhaven.

It will serve as the reading bench in the alcove of the children’s book section.

Made from the head board of a queen size bed as back and with more bed, table and stair parts for the seat and understructure it forms the base for imaginative mind travel for readers of all ages.

Vintage lettering, numbers, cut-outs, building blocks and surveyor’s measuring poles make up the detailing.  It was custom ordered by Paul & Kelly of Village Books and will celebrate the partnership between our two organizations. An article and picture in the spring issue of the Chuckanut Reader will follow.

Come, check it out at The RE Store in Bellingham, or see it at Village Books after it is installed there early February.  Be a reader, be a re-reader – read it on a re-purposed bench!

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A Wardrobe For All Seasons

Custom orders and requests are a recurring theme in the work load at The REvision Divsion. All of them are a solid tool for outreach and a wonderful opportunity for service to the community.

I want to share one of them today, that went out recently and created a smile beyond design and crafting:

Eberhard Wardrobe

In early summer, I was approached by a couple during one of my Saturday presentation days in the REvision Division showroom with a rough pencil sketch.

It showed the outline drawing and dimensions for a cabinet. Her question was, if re-purposed materials could be used to build a lean-to, outdoor closet on the back porch of the couple’s county home. It would be housing the clothes, boots, gloves and basic tools for him who was living with the onset of dementia.

Members of their community had already fenced the yard to prevent him from getting lost and helped to enable him to maintain his dignity and independence for the garden work that he loves to do. And though she had been pro-active around house and acreage it was still a challenge to maintain a sense of order to the chaos of misplaced and impossible to recall items that he needs throughout his beloved daily activity.
Hence the need for a centrally located storage location that could be the go-to place.
With something like that, he would have only one place to remember when looking for stuff and she could spare him the embarrassment of asking and herself the tediousness of constant readiness. This easy to reach outdoor cabinet would be stocked each morning and periodically restocked by her with the retrieved items and accessed by him for resupplies. Less need for asking, reduced interruptions and no more constant opening of backdoor and dirty boot tracks in the kitchen!

And so it was done!

When the “right” materials in the form of knotty cedar T&G boards from a long defunct rustic cottage contraption showed up in receiving with strap hinges and hasp to boot, the project became a quick reality. It featured a built-in slanted, asphalt-shingled top to shed rain in addition to the existing shelter of overhanging house and porch roof.

The on-site measurements that needed to be taken and the installation of this closet was easily done and accounted for by the Revision Division’s 2 hour free consultation and design offer for every commitment to a custom order.

Along with the hope for long in-home independence, this Wardrobe For All Seasons became a most recent, humble example of possibilities in the tool box of The RE Store’s waste diversions and community outreach.

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Written by Eberhard Eichner Lead Designer/Builder Revision Division The RE Store Bellingham

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Gary Richardson, Retired Woodshop Teacher – Natural Re-purposer

DSC02128

Gary Richardson, a twice-retired woodshop teacher, rebuilt an old fire hall using almost all recycled materials. In fact, he says, “You can start with the building itself! It was abandoned, and we repurposed it to begin with.”

Gary’s enthusiasm for his hobby is so engaging that I drove one afternoon from Seattle to a charming little wayside dominated by a classic white church east of Bellingham to see his fire hall in person. The front of the old fire hall, on Mount Baker Highway, houses a Subway sandwich shop, and the back of the hall houses a recycler’s dream woodshop.

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Gary’s thoughtful use of recycled materials is truly astonishing. If he hadn’t told me that some of the materials in his shop were pre-used, I never would have guessed it. Some people have a gift for using recycled or repurposed materials in a way that allows their original form to shine through; others have a gift for seeing something brand new in the old. Gary has done both. There are several woodworking tool displays in Gary’s shop that look custom made—and, of course, they are: custom made by Gary himself, out of repurposed materials. The flooring was taken from GarfieldHigh School in Seattle, and some of the cabinets are from the University of Washington. Those, among myriad other items in the shop, all came to Gary by way of The RE Store, while most of the woodworking equipment was purchased at public auctions and rebuilt for a new life in his shop.

“My intended purpose for the shop is to help young people start new businesses,” says Gary. Recently, he finished some cabinetry and a new coffee bar for the Wake-n-Bakery in Glacier, Washington. “The project was built from materials found at The RE Store in Bellingham. The cost to the owners was only for the hinges and drawer slides, which were purchased new!”

He’s always looking for ways to repurpose. “Shop teachers are naturally re-purposers,” he told me with more than a little pride. “And we teach that to our students.”

He has a long history in the Bellingham area. “As a child growing up poor in the Happy Valley neighborhood of South Bellingham, to re-purpose and re-use other people’s ‘throw-aways’ was a way of life,” he says. “My favorite class was woodshop, taught by Mr. Calhoun at Fairhaven Junior High. He taught me to use woodworking tools and build small projects. I guess I never stopped building!”

Gary and his shop

Gary and his wife, Janet, just celebrated their fortieth wedding anniversary. With the help of friends, they built their first home in Bellevue in the 1970s, and they still reside in the same home today. A testament to his lifelong pursuit, it too, was built with many re-purposed materials.  Gary agreed to do this article with the hopes of inspiring others to be creative and use other peoples ‘throw-aways’ in new ways.  In other words, he is still a teacher!

If Gary has inspired you to make something of your own – check out our DIY tips on our REvision Division page of our website!

Special thanks to Christine Clifton-Thornton for authoring this article.

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Whale Skeletons, Recycled Building Supplies and Custom Designs

Whale skeleton with REvision Division Display

“Using recycled materials is in line with our mission,” says Cindy Hansen. “One way to help the whales is by helping the environment, which is something kids can wrap their heads around. It’s something easy they can do.”

Cindy is a zoologist and the Education Curator at The Whale Museum in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. For more than 34 years, the museum’s mission is Promoting stewardship of whales and the Salish Sea ecosystem through education and research. The museum is home to two gray whale skeletons: one hangs from the ceiling, and the other can be put together like a giant puzzle on the floor. Last year, the museum’s gray whale project was in need of a new display when Cindy happened upon Eberhard Eichner and the REvision Division booth at the Green Village during the San Juan County Fair. Eberhard, The RE Store’s designer/builder, launched the REvision Division two years ago, taking orders for custom building projects using recycled materials for businesses, home owners, and organizations. The Whale Museum received a grant for the gray whale exhibit, and they commissioned Eberhard and the REvision Division to design, build, and help install the interactive/interpretative information station.

Cindy, Jenny (the museum’s Executive Director), and Jill (Communications Manager) met with Eberhard in Bellingham to discuss the project, and, “As the four of us were talking, it all fell together.” Cindy said they had envisioned something with several panels on it, but it was Eberhard’s idea to work with the materials that he used: a door and a table at the center of the design, and louver doors as a decorative touch. “We decided to use those to display trivia cards, which are a huge hit,” she said.

whale museum display in the shop

Eberhard described the process and the result: “In three design, planning, and feedback sessions, we developed a very unique and functional display.  The components are still clearly recognizable parts of former uses and purposes.”

Says Eberhard of the design, “I was after a whale/maritime/Pacific Rim theme, and a compliment to the magnificent skeleton above. I made very few cuts or alterations to the original size, shape, and appearance of the components. It was a process of true collage and fitting matching pieces to each other.”

“The top “whale’s tail” panel came from a bed headboard and is floating on and among stacked “low tide rocks”, a.k.a. furniture legs.

“Eberhard was great to work with. He was so great at listening to our thoughts and suggestions,” said Cindy.

The grant that The Whale Museum got for building the gray whale display also included some funds for bringing students from low-income schools out to San Juan Island to see it and participate in the gray whale skeleton articulation program. Some of the students had never been on a ferry before. The program and display really complement each other and has been a hit with the students and teachers. Cindy said, “We’ve gotten so many great, great comments on it! It’s been a really popular exhibit.”

You can see the whale skeleton and the custom display at The Whale Museum, of course, and also on its website.

 

The REvision Division has built, among other things, a puppet theater for the Lummi Island Library, custom furniture for an elderly retirement house, and a picnic table for a dog park.

You can get a free 15-minute consultation on your reclaimed materials project—anything from full remodels to simple DIY projects:
In Seattle on the third Saturday of the month from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
In Bellingham on the first Saturday of the month from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. beginning in September, 2013

And you can find The RE Store educational DIY videos on the REvision Division page.

 

Special thanks to Christine Clifton-Thornton for authoring this article.

Posted in: RE Store Rockstar Project, Stories about people, Stories about stuff

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Building Deconstruction, Green Demolition and Decon ’13

State Street warehouse seriesIf someone asked you what deconstruction is, would you respond:

  1. A complex philosophical movement about meaning that started in France in the 1960’s
  2. A new way of salvaging construction supplies from structures that are being demolished
  3. The age-old method of recovering useful building materials from an existing building

If you answered 3, you are correct. The Roman Empire dismantled and reused ancient Egyptian architectural elements and other building materials over 2000 years ago. They repurposed construction supplies, known as spolia, from throughout the many lands they conquered. Building deconstruction has become a movement in North America over the last 2 decades. The top five reasons are:

  1. Green building has become well-documented as a wiser way to build and remodel structures for all types of use
  2. Resources and commodities have increased in cost
  3. Waste disposal has become more expensive
  4. Design and decor trends have grown the public interest in reclaimed materials
  5. The “D.I.Y.” movement has become hugely popular across television, radio, print and online channels

Decon 13 logoThe deconstruction movement is spreading as businesses, tool research and development, national conferences and case studies all add fuel to the fire. The deconstruction industry’s largest conference, Decon ’13 is hosted by the Building Materials Reuse Association. The event happens this week in Seattle with a wide range of topics that include:

  • Designing for buildings to be deconstructed
  • Historic preservation
  • Deconstruction work force training and education
  • Use of low-value materials
  • Negotiating and permitting deconstruction projects
  • The RE Store’s REvision Division will present our innovative and award-winning furniture building program

You would be hard pressed to find a better source of information, best practices, great networking and much more. Come and be a part of the movement this week, whether you are a builder, architect, demolition contractor, salvager, government project manager, politician or average joe working to stay abreast of the latest building industry trends. The RE Store has over 13 years of experience taking down buildings, including case studies on our website. Contact us today for a bid on your project. What topics would you like to learn about, in regards to deconstruction?

Posted in: Green business, Reference and resources, Stories about contractors, Stories about people, Stories about stuff, Transforming the building industry, You can do it yourself

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