The hidden allure of recycled wood
As far as I can recall, the first job I was interested in as a kid wasn’t scientist, biologist or cetologist, but carpenter. I have always been attracted by wood (its smell, texture and feel) as much as by creative manual work.
I still like wooden objects a lot, especially stranded relics brought by the sea or found in collapsed country houses. My favourites are fragments of wooden boats with traces of paint. Layers and layers of colour scratched by rocks or faded by the sun.
In my free time I enjoy collecting that sort of stuff. This behaviour may generate abhorrence among my colleagues. When I return to the field station from a rescue trip with a carload of ‘garbage’ - possibly old wooden windows or broken chairs - I strive to convince my peers that it is actually artistic stuff. However, sometimes they fail to appreciate the beauty of rotten wooden logs with rusty nails and the occasional insect hiding in there.
With old wood and other discarded materials collected in Greece I crafted a series of objects called FISHO — perhaps an attempt of merging my ancient (wood) and present (marine life) passions.
It feels good to alternate computer work with a bit of sawing, scraping and hammering. After a fisho diversion, admittedly a naive and unsophisticated activity, I can return to my work with a fresh mind.
29 May 2009