In the Heart of Toronto's Castlefield Design District

The Recycle Cycle.

Dated Posted: June 30th, 2009

Written By: Leila

A lot of people ask what the ‘story’ is behind pieces we sell.  There are the “this came from an incredible home in the Kingsway”-type stories, but also our own personal stories that come from the adventures of finding them and bringing them home.  Our clients in turn start a new story by finding the piece in our store and taking it home, and what they do with it begins a whole other chapter.  What’s so incredible about recycled goods is exactly this cycle – we all try to bridge the transitions of where a piece came from and where it’s going in order to preserve its unique history.  Just as you love to hear where things came from, we love seeing what clients do with the things they buy here – it’s all part of the continuum.

Take for example this panel of wrought iron.  The day we found it in a salvage yard just outside Cairo was the first day I laid eyes on the pyramids.  They were just hanging out in the distance the way the CN Tower does – locals don’t look twice, but tourists go nuts (a few days later I got the requisite “touching the top of the pyramid” shot, à la “holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa”).

iron panel  pyramids

watermelon cart  iron yard

As we got closer to our destination, focus went from centuries-old miracles of civilization to present-day snapshots like this horse-drawn watermelon cart taking a break from highway traffic to eat some alfalfa – talk about bio-fuel!  The salvage yard was of course foreign and yet totally familiar, with rows of doors and vintage hand-forged wrought iron.  The piece above was one of the chosen ones, with a fantastic patina and flattened petal-like details. 

Buying trips seem to be at least equal parts shopping and socializing, so that day we met the children of the salvage yard’s employees (not so different from myself as a flea market rug rat), and later went for a dinner-and-belly-dancing cruise up the Nile with the owner and his young son who already makes the ladies swoon.  All these snippets of experiences are puzzle parts of the world where this panel came from.

neighbourhood kids  belly dancing

Fast forward to Toronto: long-time client Karen was looking for a piece of iron for us to turn into a long and narrow outdoor table for summer entertaining (this was before the snow had fully melted – her planning is admirable!).  She decided to showcase this panel’s lovely patina in a chunky, raw steel frame which will rust and do its thing and look great with her weathered ipe deck.

  table in shop

Karen recently sent us this photo of the table happily settled in her back yard.  The panel casts lovely shadows throughout the day and the combination of old-world curves and modern clean lines is stunning.  Thanks, Karen for giving us closure on this piece, and may the cycle of lovely memories continue with your table.

finished table

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