Monday, April 19, 2010

ReCORK It!

Since 1982 I have been collecting corks from bottles of wine that I have consumed in my home (s).  I decided to save corks only from bottles consumed in my home and not from restaurant and catering jobs in part because I knew that if I saved every cork that crossed my path I'd be swimming in stoppers before I'd have a chance to rethink why I was saving them. 


Now why I initially decided to save corks is not an easy thing to explain to anyone but myself. I've always saved things that I thought might be useful and I'd long used old corks for everything from plug covers for bolt heads in carpentry projects to knife blade guards. And I seem to recall thinking that I might use them to build a floor in one of my homes. 


But the primary reason for saving corks was a slightly drunken notion that by doing so I could use them as a record of my domestic life,  an aide-mémoire as it were. The almost immediate recognition that it would be impossible to recall anything about what was happening in my home by looking at unannotated wine corks dumped into a cardboard box did nothing to dampen my enthusiasm for cork collecting  until last year when, after doing a bit of cleaning in my basement, I looked at the old Excersaucer box that house my cork collection and thought WTF having I been doing saving corks for 27 years? 


Unable to find an answer that could justify warehousing thousands of musty corks I decided that I was done with saving corks.  Unfortunately, even though I have stopped saving corks, my wife has not been able to break the habit that she graciously took up to support what I now realize was an absurd hobby. So, the corks continue to accumulate even though I've kicked cork keeping and am about to unload my once prized collection on the good people at ReCork. 


ReCORK Home

13 comments:

Tags said...

So just what is the percentage of the 7 1/2 million-plus corks ReCork has collected attributable to your donation?

Jessika said...

I collect orchids. I keep them around 60 though, otherwise watering them becomes too much of a deal. We all have some quirky side, whether it involves collecting or not.

Natalie Sztern said...

Planning any cementing? Like a walkway? Pour the cement then throw the cork tiles on making sure they cover the entire surface smoothly,....let it dry and voila...beauty

Scotty said...

At some point mine will be used a wallcovering. I need more space to tack up all those gazillions of notes coming from school, etc!

Rachel Luxemburg said...

I have a big pile of corks as well Bob, you're far from the only one.

Bob del Grosso said...

Lux
I'm sure I'm far from the only loon who hoards crazy stuff he/she thinks is important. But I kind of like knowing that you are one of us.

Walt said...

Bob,

Our corks are currently overflowing from a decorative, five foot wine glass that must hold at least eight gallons or so. We have a local art student that will be arranging them on luan to be repurposed as the backsplash between our wetbar and the cabinets above.

I thought they would be great memory aides as well, but all I can remember is that we were drinking when they were pulled.

Like you, we also won't keep corks we didn't pull ourselves. And I'm quite sure that if we kept any synthetic closures, it would bring a pox on our family. Is it odd that we have rules made up or does that serve to even further amplify the silliness of such a collection? (Don't answer that!). At least yours were in a box and not displayed in your dining room.

As we pulled all the corks being used for our backsplash, and they are to be used in a design; can we consider this entire obsession as one endless performance art piece?

Yeah, that makes me feel better.

Aunt Messy said...

We now only keep "special occasion" corks and note the date and occasion on them in ballpoint pen.

One thing we have done for the past 20-odd years is hang on to fruit and veg labels. That is, the little stickies on various things. This isn't anything organized. Whenever one of us finds a label we haven't seen before, it gets stuck on to the back of a kitchen cabinet door.

We started this in Toronto, because Kensington Market gets all manner of exotic fruits from all over the world. Some of the stickers are tiny works of art. Mind you, we've done this in six homes now. I'm sure the people that moved in were convinced we're nuts. (I don't happen to think that's a bad thing.)

Bob del Grosso said...

"Aunt Messy"
Finally there is someone loonier than me.

Another Foodie said...

I have a bag of musty corks sitting in my room as well. It just became a hobby, and yes, I don't have a good reason. I thought something like this (http://www.winevine-imports.com/images/thumbs/t_1408_01.jpg) would be awesome, but now everyone does it.

I guess mine will eventually end up at recork.org as well. I'm sure a lot of my wino friends will find the link very useful as well.

Megan said...

LOL oh Bob we're so much alike! I'm sitting here looking at a big box of corks from the last year and a half (that i'd saved for the same reason) thinking what a moron i was. There ARE however, at least a dozen that i wrote on to help myself remember...Want the rest?

Hope you're well! still my favorite...

IdahoRocks said...

Since you have so many corks, I thought you might want to check out this: http://www.corkboat.com/. Yes, it's a website devoted to the Cork Boat, built by the ever quirky John Pollack. It only took 165,321 corks....

todayiwill said...

Yes, the cork collection. Nice to know there are others. I too have been saving corks for 10 years now. Only the real deal, not the new synthetic things. One day they will become an art project.