The Ohio River’s water level is low enough this week (about 27 feet) to expose a swath of slimy garbage, an encrusted Lime scooter and thousands and thousands of branches and tree trunks.
This morning I walked the shore thinking about the book “Mudlarking” by Laura Mialkem and her fascinating form of archaeology along the foreshore of the Thames river. (She is definitely worth following on Instagram if you like history.)
While I didn’t spot any relics this morning on the Ohio, my eyes were drawn to the weathered branches that were piled up a foot high in places. Some of them were shaped like a chair leg. Others had enough bend to be the crest rail of an armchair.
If you’ve read Christopher Williams’ great book “Good Work: The Chairmaking Life of John Brown,” then you know a bit about Chris’ “one square mile” approach to making chairs. Like many Welsh chairmakers before him, Chris regularly searches the woods and hedges of his surroundings for curved branches that could become chair components.
I picked up a few branches this morning to see how sound they were. Hmm, strong enough for a chair perhaps?
Or would that just be stupid?
— Christopher Schwarz