“I see beauty and functional potential in old barn wood. Part of my artistic niche is an appreciation and preservation of the time-weathered, history- imbued patina of very old barn wood. My furniture is designed and constructed to be used; it is functional art. Barn wood is a good match for people with a comfortable and informal lifestyle. I also feel good about creating something new and useful out of a material that would otherwise be burned or taken to a landfill. Time has been working for me: sun, wind, rain and snow have affected the wood for many years. With Reinbarnation, it’s almost as if I were capturing time.”
When old barns reach the end of their functional lives they are often demolished, buried, or burned to make way for new land uses.
Roger Dinger, through Reinbarnation, offers a more positive destiny for these picturesque structures by reclaiming, repurposing, and reusing the vintage wood in his art.
The past life of each barn is honored prior to deconstruction. The building and grounds are explored, photographs are taken, and the owner’s knowledge of the barn’s past is recorded.
Roger personally deconstructs the barns one board at a time, removes and saves the rusty old nails, brushes off the dust, and transports the reclaimed lumber to his shop near Siler City, NC. There the wood is sorted and stacked in dry storage bins until it is chosen to become a piece of furniture or art.
Barns are some of the few structures around where untreated wood is placed in direct sunlight with wind and rain affecting it for 100 years or more. The result of this weathering is a beautiful patina that varies in texture and color from silver, to black, to gold, to every imaginable shade of gray.
In designing and constructing his art, Roger strives to use and preserve the natural character of the wood.
On some pieces sanding and oiling are limited to the board backs with the faces retaining their weathered appearance. Other pieces may be planed smooth and hand-oiled to reveal hidden color and grain. The functional and aesthetic results follow the form of the wood chosen. Each piece of Reinbarnation furniture is unique in its conception, design and appearance.
Roger Dinger grew up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, attended the University of Virginia, and moved to North Carolina in 1976.
After a five-year career in wilderness sports education, he found a new calling in land surveying. During the next twenty-four years Roger became a Professional Land Surveyor and partner in a Greensboro engineering/ surveying firm.
He reclaimed his first barn in 1992 and began designing and building barn wood furniture and picture frames. In 2003 he moved to Chatham County and hand-built the barn where his studio is presently located. Roger Dinger created Reinbarnation in January 2007 and now works full time in his home-based woodworking art business.