Sunday, March 28, 2010

Urban Ore

I recently signed up for another workshop at the San Francisco Center for the Book, in which I'll learn to make my own polymer plates, including how to hand draw - or etch - designs onto the plates. The class should have been last week but was post-poned until mid next month (happily, the day before a Yann Tiersen concert and not the day of, as I feared). Kind of par for the course in terms of how easy or fast it's been to get my letterpress up and running.

Still, just when I think progress will never be achieved, I'm wrong.

One setback has been, despite its heft, that the press is relatively delicate and must be bolted onto a sturdy surface so that it does not tip over and break. This means I've been needing a new desk or table, which we are going to put, for now, into an already crowded room. But new adventures often have these romantic (or not so) beginnings, right?

My husband and I have been meaning to go furniture shopping for quite some time now. The press table needs to support nearly 200 lbs., be something we can drill holes through, fit into our apartment, and, have room for storage beneath.

So yesterday, on a beautiful and warm day, we began in Berkeley at Urban Ore. I had never been there before, and for so many people I know, this place is a gold mine. For others, it's merely a place to donate items you no longer want or need. Urban Ore re-sells, and cheaply, just about anything you could imagine. We walked through a yard of toilets, doors and windows, old VCRs and electronics, a graveyard of cassette tapes, costume jewelry, tubing for light bulbs, you name it.... Amidst it all, we found the furniture and, immediately, a perfectly-sized, sturdy old desk.

It's perfect as-is, including the rings from coffee mugs that have damaged the paint, and ZOOLOGY UC stamped into the side. The desk is going to, at some point, get ink on it, and continue down a path of being well used and worn.

We found what we were looking for so quickly, we spent our time afterward just wandering around:


  1. What an amazing place! I can imagine spending hours wandering around a place like that. And the desk you chose - awesome!

  2. Thanks, M! It is a pretty cool place. They had a ton of old doors, which I love, and I saw recently on a design blog an old weathered door turned sideways and used as a headboard for a bed. I want to do that, eventually, although maybe not in our current place. :-) But I am excited about the desk.

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