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My Bright and Cheery Driftwood Drying Rack

‘As unique as anyone could imagine, is my hanging drying rack. A reclaimed driftwood branch from a local river was given a beautiful transformation and a new life.’

My cheerful driftwood drying rack.

Above the stove, and suspended from the ceiling is an bright red painted branch. All my cabin life there has been a length of wood there to dry the simple things like the dish towels and face towels over the warmth of the stove. Naturally, it was first suspended over the old cast iron wood stove that was original to the cabin. Today I have a propane stove, and a pot belly woood stove nearby, but the suspended drying rack remained.

In the early days, it was just an old wooden 1 x 1 piece of wood, about 3 to 4 feet long held up by two cords at either end attached to the ceiling. Somewhere along the line I decided to remove the old piece of wood, maybe it just deteriorated, or broke, I can’t remember now. What I do remember is that one day, after dinner with friends back in the city, we all stepped out to walk along the riverside adjacent to my friends’ home. As we leisurely browsed along enjoying a beautiful warm pre-sunset walking off our delectable and plentiful dinner, while appreciating the beautiful area, an interesting long branch that had washed up on shore caught my eye. Usually I am in the habit of rock hunting and collecting more that driftwood, but there is was, this smooth piece of wood had caught my eye, and I claimed it and took it home with me.

I brought the piece up to my lake cabin and decided it was to be the new-and-improved drying rack. However, the crafty girl in me woke up and I got an idea to spruce it up. I could clearly see the beautiful grain and knothole accents, and I figured they should be preserved somehow from the moisture of our wet towels, and so I decided I’d paint it. If I just painted out the whole stick I would lose the beauty of the wood grain shown in the circular knotholes, those little rings of wood you can see winding around and around where a smaller branch would have been. If I just clear-coated the piece it would not have that zing-factor hanging there, so I came up with the idea to paint the stick a bright, clear glossy red, but to leave the knotholes and wood patterns unpainted by the red colour. I painstakingly then painted the stick leaving those accents uncovered and visually clear. After a couple coats of the red paint, I clear-coated the whole project to protect the unpainted areas from moisture as well.

In the end the pretty, bright little stick hangs proudly above my stove, and I use it every day to hang things to dry. Because the stick was painted with the glossy red paint and clear-coat it is easy to slide things on and off, because it is hung very high over the stove and nearby pot belly wood stove, do so as to not catch things easily on fire.

My beautiful-bright red drying rack is a pleasure to see and use in my cabin. Such a little thing, but it is a cheerful accent in my cabin today and brings back to me good memories.

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