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My Man Made Mirror

A few years ago, we were living and working in Hamilton. My husband Campbell is an ultra-runner, so being away for long hours was just normal everyday life for us, so, when he was away for extra hours just hanging at a mate’s place, supposedly, I was getting a little, you know, “what about me time”? I mean I’m not that precious, but hey!

The reason became clear. On my birthday I was forbidden to be in my bedroom for a good part of the day. I may have even been told to leave home for several hours. Campbell has always been a big gift giver for my birthday, and the gifts are always unexpected surprises, so I was curious and somewhat anxious about what it might be this year. 

Our bedroom had 2 full walls of glass, and we looked out over the city and garden from our bed. It was a great space. When my gift was finally revealed, not only was it a beautiful surprise, it also explained the long hours away from home.

My man made me a mirror. It wasn’t just any mirror; it was a large 3 sash wooden recycled window sized mirror. It filled the third wall of our room creating an all-around view, which was pretty spectacular. Needless to say, some days it was hard to get out of bed! 

This mirror was the first of many to come.

Since shifting to Raglan, Campbell has made friends with Xtreme Waste Raglan, and through Pete and Debs, two of the folks who work in the timber recycle shop, has scored many cheap old joinery windows and doors and begun to give new life to them, turning what looks like a throw away, into something beautiful, recycled joinery mirrors. The timber behind the old flaking layers of paint is always a surprise.

Other timber has been chosen from unique pieces of driftwood, an old mantelpiece, and even a mate’s rotting macrocarpa fence. Most stunning are the driftwood timbers, having been aged and beaten by the ocean.  These are extra special mirrors with their beautiful rich colour, and many of the knots and shapes of the log left as a feature in these mirrors.

Our home has become our workshop, and many fine days will find Campbell accumulating piles of sawdust, which has the habit of getting everywhere; and making that annoying-to-the-neighbours buzzing sound of the wood sander.

As well as building up a basic stock for our monthly market at Raglan, Campbell has had a lot of fun creating some large commissioned pieces, including his latest restroom doors for a soon to be opened eatery in Raglan. Often my dining room and my workshop and any available wall space is decorated with mirrors in various stages of production.

But from hours of stripping back, fixing and jointing, puttying, oiling and finally inserting the mirror, come these beautiful recycled joinery, and driftwood mirrors, and I’m sure each would have its own a story to tell. 


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