early woodworking project

message board

I snapped this picture while I was at my parents’ house on Easter. This is one of my early woodworking efforts, a message board I designed and built for my mother when I was about 12. I remember using a utility knife and flathead screwdriver to carve out the space that the cork board is glued into. Apparently I hadn’t yet been introduced to chisels. I also remember walking with my father down to Town Paint, a now out-of-business hardware store down the road from our house, and picking out the adhesive letters. The roll of register tape was supposed to be used to take phone messages. One time my father actually wrote on the thing my mother got mad and told him not to “ruin” it… so this is how it’s sat for the past twenty years. I used to be confused about why she never used it, but now I understand how important it is for her to surround herself with tangible reminders of meaningful memories. She still has drawings my fifteen year old nephew made when he was four and cards that I sent her ten years ago taped to her pantry door, and that’s my sister’s high school key chain hanging on the side of the message board. Preserving the physical objects is her way of protecting the memories they represent and capturing that moment in time forever.

Aside from the sentimental attachment to this piece, I’m still happy with the design. Simple, clean, functional. Maybe it’s worth revisiting.