Furniture From Here And There

BY DESIGN

August 30, 1992|By YOLANDA GARFIELD

In this age of eco-consciousness, Baltimore salvage artist David Klein rescues discarded materials and constructs them into furniture.

Every piece of rescued material is alive with the history of the people who once owned it and of the places it has been, because Mr. Klein, who documents the finds, is as much a historian as he is an artist. The furniture glows with ancient paints and finishes painstakingly sanded, never stripped, so that the scars of age are enhanced and honored, rather than obliterated.

The pieces appear rough-hewn at first glance. Closer examination reveals exquisite, silken patinas that live up to the inspired design. A debut show at the Nye Gomez Gallery last year brought Mr. Klein's work the critical accolades it deserves.

The base cabinet pictured here has been dubbed "Amen" because its two oak doors were once confessional doors at Highlandtown's St. Elizabeth Church. Much of the cabinet's top is from the J. M. Prigel Fellowship Hall, now the site of the Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren. Wood from a Roland Park residence and a former Fells Point antique shop are also part of this composition.

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