Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saturday Short Subjects: Meet Corky

Corky (below) is the partially homemade, thus partially Made in the USA, wine cork trivet we gave to our son and his fiancée this past Christmas.

"Corky" required 40 corks.
After seeing such a trivet for sale online, I had decided to put my family’s collection of used wine corks to good use protecting a table from hot pots.  I was not quite ready to start from scratch. I knew I had enough corks but wasn’t sure about sizing the frame properly. I looked for a kit. None of the local craft or hobby stores in the area had such an item, but at the Home Depot online store I found the kit for the trivet you see here. Slow shipping was free at the time.

The kit arrived later than promised from China [Yikes! That was missing from the description.] via a California warehouse. The cost was pretty reasonable, but the wood was mahogany-stained vs. mahogany [as I had expected], and the 40 corks fit a little loosely in the frame and sat a bit lower than we wanted. My husband was the one who came up with the idea of adding more cork to the trivet. Hull’s in downtown New Haven had sheets of cork in several thicknesses, the middle weight perfect for our needs. We trimmed some to fit in the base, adding just enough height for the corks to rise above the frame, thus keeping any hot pot from touching the wood. We also cut thin strips to line the frame, fitting the corks more tightly together. 

After designing the pattern inside the frame, we removed the corks a pair at a time and duplicated the pattern outside. We poured some white glue into a dish and carefully applied a fairly generous amount of glue to the back of each cork, one at a time, with an inexpensive watercolor brush. Then we carefully set each one back into the frame in its proper place. Voilà!

We set a tray weighted down with a cast iron pan atop the trivet for a couple of days to let it set and dry well. And then it was ready for packing and shipping back to California where the kids live. I confess the footprint for this gift is pretty big.

The present was a big hit, evoking memories of special occasions and good times shared. We just might do this again when our cork collection is replenished, many months, if not years from now. We will probably build our own box next time. 

Someday a wine cork trivet may be a truly collectible item. Start saving your corks, and come back on Monday for my Meatless Monday post to find out why …

Why Saturday Short Subjects? Some readers may recall  being dropped at the movie theater for the Saturday matinee — two action-packed feature films with a series of short subjects (cartoons or short movies, sometimes a serial cliffhanger) sandwiched in between. Often the short subjects were the most memorable, and enjoyable, part of the morning. That explains the name. The reason behind these particular posts is that we are all short on time. My Short Subject posts should not take me as long to write or you as long to read (or try).

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