Furniture in Recovery - Robin Gordon Taft
Furniture in Recovery

I call my pieces Furniture In Recovery. That's what I do to the damaged and discarded furniture that I find; sometimes in the trash, sometimes on the side of the road, but always those things that no one else cares to give another chance. I "recover" them so that when I am done each one is resurrected, recycled functional art...strong, beautiful, and imperfect.

I love what I can do with these pieces that others have rejected as "too far gone" - too many scratches and water stains and deep gashes to repair. I clean them up and, if need be, I know someone wonderful who can tighten up what's rickety. I want to be "green" in my efforts to make treasure from someone else's trash, so I don't strip and I rarely paint. I use tree-free imported papers applied with lots of white glue; then I use liberal amounts of polyurethane to achieve an extremely durable finish.

These pieces want to return to usefulness beautifully, so I stare at them for awhile and I look at my collection of papers. I think of them as I go about my day and when I'm trying to go to sleep at night. What papers would look best ? And how can I make it lovely, but fun too? I don't want them to take themselves too seriously so I add quirky embellishments...old stamps or tea tags or labels or flowers cut out of scrap paper from old magazines or ruined picture books from the transfer station or old dictionaries or old recipe booklets or.....

I truly love making these pieces and I think that shows. The fun I am having makes them colorful and playful. But they have a spiritual side too when on closer inspection each piece reveals its hidden message -


Robin Gordon Taft














photo courtesy Caleb Kenna