Growing up, I was fortunate enough to encounter the principles of reducing and reusing as everyday standards. It’s just the way we did things in our family; if we could reuse something, we did. My dad is a woodworker, and he carried this idea through every aspect of his creations. Popsicle sticks became paint stirrers, yogurt containers were later used to hold wood stain. If a piece of scrap wood was of usable size, he would save it, knowing someday it would be just what he needed. I even remember being so embarrassed as a teenager when my dad rescued some discarded oak flooring out the neighbors’ trash can (what if my friends saw?!). Now I’m proud to say that neglected wood beautifully frames much of my artwork.

Here are a few shots of his plentiful stores of wood, built up over many years of smart stewardship of resources.

There is a story behind nearly every acquisition, and I just love spending time in here with my dad.

(Scraps that I will paint on, turning nearly useless wood into art.)

That’s not even the half of it.

This weekend we spent some time constructing frames and panels out of some reclaimed Western Cedar (the beautiful, dark wood on the left side of this photo).

Working hard. My job is to watch and admire. :)

Table saw—I’ll admit I have nightmares about this thing.

The pieces are cut to size and mitered, and we check to see that everything turned out just right. Of course it did.

Thanks again, Dad. You make my artwork look good.

And if you need more proof that my father is the ultimate Salvager of Neglected but Lovable Goods, look no further than this very familiar sight: wood glue in the honey bottle.