Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Studio Pics 2 - Built like a Bridge

I recently picked up this old vintage metal cabinet from a second hand store for my studio, from the 60's or 70's, probably out of an office or commercial space.

It is solid heavy gage steel, well built, double thickness doors and drawers, WELDED, and they fit like a glove.
The sheet metal doesn't 'oil can'.
Tap the open drawer and it closes all the way and doesn't bounce back.
You can hear the ball bearings in the drawer glides click like they should. Ball bearings should be heard and not seen.
Thick adjustable shelf that won't sag.
Hinges, handles, clasps, shelf clips... yep... all metal, but the good stuff. The only 'plastic' on it is the clasp rollers, and they are tough nylon plastic, still work like new, no signs of wear. They are not the modern cheap plastic that is soft like brie cheese!
The doors open and shut with a whisper... gentle like a baby, yet they don't rub, sag, flex, shimmy or shake, warp or wobble.
The top is a laminate veneer, but made back when it was thick and tough and durable.
It was outside in the back exposed to the weather buried under junk yet is unfazed. Try that with MDF.
It has been through spills, chills, and no doubt thrills.
It wears it's scratches with well earned pride and no apology.
It was probably built by the same guys who built skyscrapers and bridges and yet weren't afraid of color.
It is industrial construction and practicality with simple plain proportions and designer sensibilities.
As my Dad would say, It has an honesty to it.
It is glorious.

I knew it was mine the moment I saw it. It was made for me.
Now it is home again.
If you look you can see it is 'right up my alley' in color palette.
It's amazing how the right things, the most simple addition can make a space more inspiring...

I also found an old used chair for my desk,  solid wood and iron , remember that? It weighs a ton, it's the real deal.
... and some flat files in solid metal, used (NOT previously owned!) used, before 'used' was a bad word.

For the price I paid for each, I would not be able to find this kind of quality new.
I wonder what will still be around in 50 or 100 years from now for future vintage shoppers. Actually these here will, just not as much will survive from today, there still is quality being produced but it is not as commonplace and is expensive. Where did we go wrong? Cheap means more consumption, not good for the planet.

No plastic, no particle board. Thats it!


  1. i can understand your passion for this piece.... typical of an artist ;)

    1. I know! Huh?!
      Some things you just know.
      One piece makes for a whole different work space.

      Thanks for visiting rahina, hope you are back to painting.