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City Repair. Public Art in private spaces. Little Library.  I’m not sure what you would call it, but we completed our Posting Post this afternoon and it looks pretty fine.       

For years, I’ve admired the City Repair Projects in Portland, where neighbors come together and paint the streets, or build a playhouse, or create art out of recycled objects; I’ve even modeled my Honors American Literature final around the idea. Art that you stumble upon while running errands, art that makes your day a bit brighter.  But we didn’t have anything in our own yard, besides the front gardens, of course. And one of Anne Hart’s useful art pieces—a wok turned into a birdbath.  Now we have a place to post poetry, or writing, announcements, photographs for people walking by to find.

 

Materials:

  • 4 by 4 pressure treated post, recycled from the old backyard fence
  • Bucket of gravel to hold the post up, new
  • A piece of plywood, a couple of feet square (also from an old fence)
  • A wooden frame from Goodwill—one dollar
  • Two brass hinges, purchased new from Robnett’s—four dollars
  • Scraps of paint, a few nails and screws

 

Procedure:

  • Plant the post. We put ours under the fig tree, set in from the sidewalk. It had to be easily seen and read, but not tempting to drunks walking down the street at two AM. The tree provides nice nighttime cover.
  • Cut out all pieces. I used the frame to determine the size, but then hung the frame off center.
  • Paint all pieces, twice, and let dry overnight. I was covered with paint before I acknowledged drying times….
  • The roof went on first. We nailed a couple of small scrap pieces to the back so that the roof nails had something to hang onto. The large piece went on first, so that the smaller, which is actually a part of the plywood roof cutout, turned around, was more stable.
  • Attach the frame (with the glass inside) to the plywood with small hinges.
  • Slide the poem inside. We used Charles Goodrich’s poem on pillbugs. He’s a local  poet who is also a gardener.
  • Attach to post using heavy duty screws, in case it needs to come down for alterations.
  • Admire.

 

 twentyfirststreeturbanhomestead@blogspot.org

 

Sowbugs: 

Vagabonds, hobos, they trundle in 
through a crack in the wall by the back door 
and congregate under the washing machine 
to drink soapy drainwater. 

I'm not running a bug hotel. My home 
is no flophouse for backyard dropouts. 
But these folks are easy company. 
They aren't evangelists 
reveling all night in confessional raptures 
or teenage sons of bankers 
cranking stereos and snorting coke. 
They aren't revolutionaries or reactionaries, 
atheists, pagans or co-dependents. 

They're just little bugs 
who've seen the world some 
and like to swap stories around the floor drain.

 

 

Charles Goodrich

 

 

 

Views: 26

Comment by Jennifer on February 3, 2014 at 5:45pm

Love this so much. Thanks for keeping the ideas—and the Oregon bulletins—coming. I guess this project combines the two!

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