Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Clothespin Fence

From January to March, I covered my side-yard fence with approximately 4,874 wooden clothespins.

To do this, I completely cleaned out three 99 cent stores in my neighborhood, then I found a 99 cent superstore up on Church Avenue that finished the job. To answer the question the men-folk ask: this cost about seventy-five dollars.

I like it because:

it works as an ideal privacy fence - our little plot is right by the sidewalk - walking by at a regular pace, you can't see through ... stopping and looking straight on (second snap with flowering caraway in front), you see right through

sun and wind goes right through, and it makes a really pretty pattern on the sidewalk in the morning (the sun is behind the fence in the a.m., on it in the p.m.)

it is approximately impossible to steal.

It will weather really quickly, and be covered with sweet pea and morning glory pods by the end of the fall - I love the wabi-sabi aspect of it, in the sense of "the mystery of rust."

Also it was a hella OCD thing to assemble (if you look closely there's a striped pattern - two clothespins on one vertical, one on the next), yet it comes together as a whole that's really shaggy and kind of taken-for-granted in the landscape.

I was thinking of Shinto when I made it - I think there's a spirit in this tree, so let's stick a paper garland on it and ring bells and make wishes... That carried through somehow - a few folks at my Fancy Garden Party yesterday called it the Wailing Wall of Ditmas Park - clip your prayers hereto.

Somehow related, but not really: your FenceMaster


Kent said...


I love that idea :)

I wonder what it would look like with multicolored clothespins?


Glad to know i am not the only one... I have just completed a sculptural installation with over 12 thousand pins !

You have done a fine job.