Natural Elements Meets Industrial Design
If you’re Linda Beck of South Orange NJ, you’re at home in natural environs where the simplest of scavenger hunts can turn up the most wondrous of objects. Like endless searches for skeletal treasures, find remnants of a wild life lived in Virginia’s foothills. Or when frequent visits to the local duck pond at Flood’s Hill seal a lifelong friendship with the ancient snapping turtle who holds court there.
So when she found two pieces of driftwood on a beach in the North Fork of Long Island, she knew exactly what to do with them. Create a ballet barre for her young son, a budding ballerino, of course.
I love this project. It marries art with function. Rather than visiting the Home Depot and purchasing a cylindrical shaped bar or worse, a PVC pipe, she brought nature into her home and created a statement piece.
So how did she do it?
Linda juxtaposed the natural elements with industrial design, gas piping. She fastened the driftwood barres to gas piping with U-bolts. Since her family’s home has plaster walls, she tells me that the “toughest and most frustrating part of the process was locating the wall studs. The stud finder was useless, so we had to tap a thin nail in every 2 inches or so across the wall in order to find them!”
It’s true – plaster walls are found in most SOMa homes and stud finders can be unreliable. Here are few methods I’ve heard about, in addition to Linda’s: knock on the walls and listen for differences (hollow or thick), locating the electrical box as they are usually attached to studs, or tieing a magnet to a string and swinging it front of the wall – supposedly it will be attracted to the nails in the studs. We’ve used the first two methods in our home.