Under the cork tree

Wine corks! What makes these humble objects so irresistible? Is it their size and shape? Their spongy resilience? Their mysterious markings?

Maybe it all goes back to Ferdinand the Bull. As a kid I was thrilled to learn that the cork tree Ferdinand sat under bore clusters of actual corks!
ferdinand-corks2

Needless to say, my disillusionment was bitter. Curse you, children’s illustrator Robert Lawson!

The sad, sorry reality.

The sad, sorry reality.

But I still love corks — and so does everybody in the Western world with access to a glue gun. (No, seriously.) Here are some typical projects by Etsy seller Lizzie Joe Designs:
lizzie joe cork projectsThat’s just dandy if you actually need a bulletin board or trivet, but when some of these folks talk about saving the environment one cork at a time… well, it starts to sound a bit like Ferdinand turning his back on the Spanish Civil War. That is, if instead of “the Spanish Civil War” you say “ceaselessly demanding electoral accountability and searching for creative ways to fight the agents of climate change” and instead of “smelling the flowers” you say… well, this:
Upcycled-Wine-Corks-DIY-Letter-Monogram“T” is for “Take that thing down.” Also for “Tbutt Tugly.”

Still, “not only is it hip to go ‘green,’ cork can make for an elegant decoration,” writes the blogger at the Nectar Tasting Room. The proof?wine-cork-ornamentsCan you guess what they’re for?

“I believe that people have green hearts and green souls and even an occasional green thumb and want to buy green goods,” writes Catherine of Olive Bites. And someone might well want to buy (or make — thanks, Catherine!) these cute magnetic mini-terrariums out of test tubes and corks.
terrarium 030But I gotta say, the only green thing here is the moss. It’s hard to believe, but there really will come a time when terrariums won’t be so cool anymore. Remember the ’80s? Not a terrarium to be found. In fact, the post-terrarium era already draws near. And then, as per the concept of Life Cycle Assessment, these adorable li’l guys will wind up in landfills after all.

Which is fine. If we like magnetic terrariums, we might as well make magnetic terrariums — and cork boards, and cork coasters. Even Mecha Trivet. But let’s not kid ourselves. We’re not fighting the war, we’re smelling the flowers.

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7 responses to “Under the cork tree

  1. …One of those is a Barefoot cork. If you must make something out of wine corks, can you at least avoid the synthetic corks from wines that cost $6 a bottle?

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