On a Wall Project

Corks have a story. We may associate them with a vacation or a special occasion, Wineries make choices to display images, names, saying, regions, phone numbers, websites, and more.

Wine is a decorating theme in our home. Bottles, presses, and corks are easily found. (a past post)

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In terms of corks, all wine corks are not created equal.

  • In general, there are 3 types of corks: natural, composite, and plastic
    • Natural cork is from the inner bark of an oak tree (yes, primarily the Cork Oak)
    • The plastic even come in a variety of colors
    • To me, the composites resemble pressed sawdust bound by a resin
  • Corks have different lengths and diameters
  • If corks display printing, some are printed vertically, others horizontally
  • Some are printed the same on both sides, while others may have something different on the opposite side

corksvariety

This is a small cubby in our lower level. The angle on the upper left is the stairs. Some in our neighbors have a wet bar in the space, but we went with just the counter.

whatwas

This past January, my wife showed me an interesting image from Pinterest. I suggested we could do that in the lower-level cubby. After researching possible designs on Google Images, ideas were racing through my mind. The key question was original free-form/abstract or uniform? Measurements and calculations allowed me to estimated the need for 1050-1100 wine corks (if corks occupied the entire space).

After the easier-than-expected collection phase, I began designing. My initial thought was to put together a variety of designs on the mock-up to see what we liked and disliked. But, as I got going, I changed and tweaked as I progressed.

eclecticdesign

A few weeks later we were in a new restaurant for my birthday, and we saw several cork designs – and my wife liked a particular uniform design. Because I had so many corks, I created a second mock-up (in about 40 minutes) so we could compare.

During my cork collecting phase, I got an idea that friends thought was crazy. Whereas people were shocked to learn that I was on the prowl for 1000 corks – but then I told them I changed my goal to 1000 different corks – and no plastic ones.

With two prototype designs completed, my wife and I preferred different designs. While she found the eclectic design too busy, I found it easier on the eyes. Whereas she liked the uniformity of second design, it was a blurred to my eyes. So the challenge became to create something relatively uniform to fit her taste, yet be easy on my eyes.

repeatingpattern

As for the actual construction, first step was cutting a piece of plywood to fit the back wall. This would serve as a surface for mounting the corks (as opposed to attaching them directly to the wall).

board

All the advance work led us to cover the plywood with cork shelf paper. This could help add depth to our design.

The actual construction was a slow process. After all, in most cases, we glued the corks individually – most of the 800+ one by one. We did most of the work on a table. After attaching the board to the wall, we completed the project. Voilà!

corkwallcomp

Factoids

  • Longest dimensions: Bottom row 48 in (122 cm); Right side 40 in (101 cm)
  • 860 corks used
  • Only 2 plastic corks (because they were special to me)
  • Plain/blank corks form a border around the design
  • From the 860, subtracting the border places and the horizontal row of corks from sparkling wines – yes – no duplicates are displayed in the remaining 727
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77 thoughts on “On a Wall Project

  1. Wow!! What a mammoth task, imagine if you had to drink all the bottles yourself 🙂 I think your wall looks great Frank – and if every cork tells a story your guests will never go home!! I don’t think such a thing could be done here any more as most of our wineries have moved over to screw tops – it just isn’t the same!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pauline,
      Many thanks for the kind words … Regarding all those bottles, oh yes … I imagine if I drank all of them! 😉 … So many stories on those corks. Can’t recall if I mentioned this in the post, but I’m working on trivia questions for the wall … more like a Where’s Waldo? in the form of questions. Meanwhile, still many corks still here, but the transition to screw caps is in progress.

      Like

  2. I am so impressed with the skill, ingenuity and just fabulous-ness over-all!!!!! Well Done, aFa and Mrs. Right A. No more roses to speak of….mostly rain and wind…for the next 6 to 7 to 8 months. This October was the second wettest since rainfall began to be measured, gloated over and archived….over 8 inches. I’m not impressed…..just sayin’…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raye,
      Glad you appreciated this endeavor. Actually went faster than anticipated … but fun … especially once I got in the self-challenge of no duplicates.

      I knew your area is typically rainy in the winter, but your October was brutal. Hopefully the rest of winter will be less eventful! Otherwise, hope all is well!!!

      Like

      • I honestly don’t remember them all, but they do have a display with wine bottles for anniversaries 1-5. They drank #1. Guests at their wedding wrote comments to go with the different bottles/anniversaries. They will be moving from an apartment to a house in a few months, and I imagine there will be more. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Carrie!!!!!
      Hey there … hope all is well up there! This was a fun project to do … and the layout/design options a person has are unlimited … so planning is essential.

      How did the move go?

      Like

      • Oy. A lot of closing hassles, including finding out the day movers were packing us up that we couldn’t close that day after all. A few more closing snafus after that–all paperwork errors made by the banks, I might add–but we finally managed to move and finalize things. Don’t want to go through that again, but now that we’re in the townhome we love it! Smack dab in our downtown community. Library across the street, market down the block, restaurants to walk to. Love it!

        Hope all is well and that you and your wife are adjusting to the new rhythm of her retirement.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Jim,
      As part of the planning process, I cut some corks …. not only lengths-wise, but also the tips. Different elevations within the design can add depth. However, in my case, shortening the quest wasn’t an option because of my quest for no duplicates displayed. Besides, getting corks would also be easier than cutting them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a cool project! And it looks fantastic.

    A friend of mine installed a cork kitchen floor. (Cork, not corks!) I thought she was nuts until I saw her drop a piece of crystal on it and it didn’t even chip. My ceramic tile would have obliterated it!

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  4. Frank, a very cool project indeed. It certainly would have been quite the task to obtain all those corks by consuming the contents they protected at one time. Cork trivia is a natural progression based on the stories involved regarding their various arrivals upon your wall.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim,
      Glad you got to see this, although your eyes were zooming around at other stuff that day … this art takes a bit of studying to take fun to another level. As far as your extra corks, do with them as you please, or I can pass them on to others who collect corks.

      Like

  5. Of course, you’ve done this! You would just LOVE the amount of corks I have… Been collecting for eons with a plan of eventually doing something. Have a few glass jars filled to the rim as well as bags and drawers… I’ve a couple of projects in mind… hoping I have the creativity necessary to put them into action.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. breathtakingly beautiful design! wow, to think I’ve been telling you “Cheers” and that’s exactly what y’all’ve been doing, lol.
    Bravo for playing with the design, you both won a conversation art piece. Inspirational for the rest of us just drinking wine and pitching the cork. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Roxie,
      Many thanks for the kind words. Playing with the design aspect was part of the fun – especially for those who would enjoy an eclectic design. You would be amazed what you can find on Google Images … search Wine Cork Walls …. some are true art!!!! … saw some as backsplashes in a kitchen.

      One a side note, outside of crafts, there’s very little that can be done with used corks. I searched for recycling opportunities, but results were difficult to find.

      Like

  7. Wow! Very cool, Frank! Liked your line, ” easier-than-expected collection phase!” Very interesting info on the corks themselves as well. Last year, my sister-in-law and I used corks in the centerpieces for her daughter’s wedding reception. They formed the base of vases that each held a large battery-operated candle. And of course, the idea came from Pinterest! Had to collect corks way in advance from everyone we knew, which was fun in itself, because of the stories associated with the corks!

    Like

  8. Wonderfully completed artwork you and you’re wife created. Well done, aFrank. You must love math. My hubby figures things out mathematically all the time. Me: I do not like math. Well,maybe, if it’s green and paper. LOL
    We have a friend who opened a gallery where we showcase our artwork. He does nautical cork artwork. He decorated a cigar box with cork and made a purse. Artists we’re all mad.😳
    I’m sure you enjoyed some of those wines. 🍷
    Cheers …
    Isadora 😎

    Like

  9. We save corks, too, Frank, but nothing like this huge project has ever transpired! Wow! I’m so impressed with the finished project. You were really committed. I hope you take your photo and add it to Pinterest. You’ll inspire other “cork savers!”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jeff,
      I knew you would enjoy this. Although I’m well represented on the wall, I did seek the help of friends, restaurants, and wine stores for this project. Especially after I decided on the “no duplicates displayed” rule. The numbers at the end of the post are quite telling. You would love the trivia questions to go along with the wall!

      Like

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