As a twenty one year old senior in college trying to balance a seemingly endless amount of school work along with a full-time job and internship, it is not uncommon that I find myself wanting to pull out my hair. Therefore it's no surprise either that I rely on the things I enjoy most to get me through the days that make me want to scream at the top of my lungs into a pillow. Fortunately I have been lucky enough to recognize a newfound passion that allows me to find solace in simplicity, turning trash into treasure. As my eco-consciousness grows in an environmentally unstable world, I find myself wondering what I can do to evoke change. For me that change has come in the form of repurposing and reclaiming the potential of forgotten goods.
This first design piece came to me as I salvaged through the remains of my neighbor's dilapidated barn. Each find provoked the need to produce something purposeful and creative. With the anticipation of my parent's 30th anniversary, I saw the perfect chance to capitalize on my salvages. After all it ultimately meant a cheap gift and as a student my financial situation was about as unstable as the old barn's rickety foundation. No convenient gift card or last minute attempt to find a gift would suffice this year, I had to set the bar for my siblings. Even more importantly was the need to celebrate my mom's hard fought battle with breast cancer and her relentless effort to successfully rid herself of the disease. It was hard to imagine going through such a challenge, but I knew that if I had done so a celebratory glass for wine would be both timely and well-deserved. That's when I decided to build my mother and father a recycled wine rack to celebrate their commitment to one another, each other's health and life in general as we have all learned to not take what we have for granted. Unfortunately their anniversary celebration was cut short when my father was unexpectedly diagnosed with a rare form of cancer days later and was left with a poor prognosis. Within a week his life was left in the steady hands of the surgical team working vigorously for over thirteen hours to reclaim his life. After a three week coma, intensive care round the clock, and a host of complications he found the strength to overcome. In the last few days he has gratefully returned home where our family is working to rebuild with the knowledge that we can revive times that seem lost into times we can treasure. This wine rack serves as a testament to the resilient bond our family has and our ability to see value in moments we wish we could throw away. As the old adage goes “life is too short to drink bad wine” and although our wine may not be the sweetest or most sought it will always be toasted with positive thoughts.