Old Things, New Usage; Artisans Recycle Discarded Wood, Metal Objects into Eye-Catching Accents

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), January 15, 2003 | Go to article overview

Old Things, New Usage; Artisans Recycle Discarded Wood, Metal Objects into Eye-Catching Accents


Byline: Christian Toto, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Everything old is new again once Gloria Capron gets her hands on it. The head of Gloria Capron Interior Design in Kensington takes discarded items such as rusty window grates and forgotten barn wood and transforms them into elegant furniture and accent pieces.

Ms. Capron's recycling touch doesn't apply just to rustic interiors. She also can bring a touch of the old into contemporary settings straight out of an Ikea catalog.

Clever homeowners can follow Ms. Capron's lead and, with a dollop of imagination and care, bring new life to discarded iron, stone and wood.

Her house is chockablock with recycled wonders - coffee tables fashioned from metal window grates and topped by glass, old church decorations doubling as wall art and windowsills crammed with re-purposed decor, their bumps and irregularities more than welcome.

Often, she does nothing to these pieces beyond judiciously placing them around the house.

"I like to have them 'as is' if I can," she says.

The interior designer helps clients with both contemporary and classical traditions, but she takes special delight in dropping an antique piece into a modern home for the ultimate accent.

Items such as Ms. Capron's zinc sculpture, with its copper patina adding a crush of color, can enhance nearly any home - with a little bit of creative daring.

"People find it very difficult to blend the old and the new. It takes a trained eye to pull it all together," she says.

Ms. Capron also combines old items into one finished piece, such as a generously sized table outside her kitchen made from unwanted barn wood and old Victorian house parts, topped by tile.

Most of her home's windows are decorated not with draperies, but with window grates.

"I love silhouettes and the way the light comes through them," she says.

Homeowners can hit their local antique shop for similar items, she says, often at reasonable prices. Dealers, not seeing the potential such random pieces have, might charge little for such items. They may be happy to have the space for more established antiques, Ms. Capron says.

She also hits salvage yards for material and keeps her eyes open for possibilities on road trips. One such trip detoured to an old silo where she picked up a dilapidated decorative column that now stands in her home.

A handful of artisans appearing each weekend at Eastern Market in Southeast also rely on recycling to create their wares.

Riverdale Park artisan Luke Loy recalls seeing heaps of abandoned machinery gears and cogs around his childhood home, a farm north of St. Louis. Today, he uses old chains, wrenches and gears - many of which come from older farms - to create unique clocks and tables.

An engineer by trade, Mr. Loy says the various metal pieces can be unforgiving. Attaching different metals together can be a chore, he says, and some pieces have rusted over time.

"Sometimes things are fragile. Cast-iron pieces may shatter" if dropped, he says.

Metal parts are hard to find locally, so he takes occasional trips to Amish country in Pennsylvania and relies on a friend who lives in North Carolina to scour local farm auctions for scrap metal.

Another Eastern Market artist, Alexandria photographer Paige Ireland, discovered last year that her recycled wood frames were drawing as much interest as her prints.

The idea to use discarded wood for her frames took hold while she was standing near a Capitol Hill Dumpster.

"We snagged a bunch [of wood], and I started teaching myself carpentry," Ms. Ireland says.

Using the scrap wood for her frames became "something I could do without a major investment, would be unique and would honor the wood," she says. So she began to create frames made from the wood, often culled from old wooden floors. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Old Things, New Usage; Artisans Recycle Discarded Wood, Metal Objects into Eye-Catching Accents
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.