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A public apology to the Pesky Pallet Crate
February 3, 2017
Remember a few weeks ago, when we posted a video about the use of pallet crates within the reclaimed furniture world? In the video, Nick showed how we would re-purpose a pallet crate, he did this by throwing it in the skip.
Admittedly, the video was a little strong, perhaps too strong for some. But it’s the principle behind that video that’s important, which for us, still stands. At the Wonky Chair Design Studio, we firmly believe materials and products should only be re-purposed when they no longer service as the product they once were. In our eyes a pallet crate still serves its intended purpose, to transport goods, even if it does look like its seen better days.
Parallel to that statement the wood used to produce pallet crates isn’t an ideal material to build high end furniture out of. Why not? Pallet crates are usually produced with live green wood, a material that is likely to warp and disfigure over time, especially in an environment with fluctuating temperatures such as a home. You could go as far as arguing that maybe this isn’t sustainable, because the material won’t last.
We understand the appeal of the pallet crate furniture sector, it’s a great way of making a quick buck. We’ve seen people attach casters to a crate and had it sold for way out of the odds but that’s not us! We’re more than that ‘DIY up-cycling’ trend. That may come across as arrogance but it’s the truth. At the Wonky Chair Design Studio, we believe in the progression of reclaimed furniture design from ‘DIY’ into a viable means to produce new furniture from older materials. We want to strengthen the longevity and viability of the movement so it becomes more than just a fad.
This blog post is probably a good time to explain all the other things we don’t like about the reclaimed furniture design industry. Number two on the list, after those pesky pallet crates, is the use of ‘Annie Sloane’ chalk paint which is then distressed, what’s that about!? We don’t usually use the word up-cycling here in the studio because of the connotations that are attached to it caused by chalk paint. We believe that painting an old French chair then returning it to a condition that’s in-fact worse than what it was found in is not true re-purposing. Don’t get us wrong, we understand the idea of painting old tables/chairs to a high standard, because sometimes a product only needs a touch of paint to prolong and revitalise its life but when you start ruining its condition by ‘distressing’ the paint work you may as well not have bothered painting it surely?
To conclude, we’d like to say don’t take our opinions too seriously. The video could have been done in another way, yes, but we thought it was a little bit of fun and really showed our strong personality and character as a business! Those are our beliefs and opinions and they are helping us progress reclaimed furniture design beyond the average DIY job.