When we came up with the idea for the Reuse Inspiration Contest, we hadn’t planned on someone like Scott Allman.
The competition, which is sponsored by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Construction Junction, began three years ago as a way to recognize creative reuse of salvaged materials like those sold at CJ. One category, home renovation, grew to two so that artists could get in on the fun. But the judges weren’t sure which category fit Mr. Allman’s entry last year, a slicing knife and fork set made from an old lawn mower blade.
Whatever it was, we loved it, and he was one of six lucky winners to receive tickets to the hugely popular Big Pour beer festival, held inside and outside CJ’s Point Breeze retail center.
This year’s sold-out event is set for Sept. 6, and we’re looking for more clever people like Mr. Allman, who hand-forges metal items in the garage next to his house in O’Hara. His latest creation is a reproduction of an 18th-century tomahawk, also known as a poll axe. He saw one like while attending last October’s 18th-century Marketfaire at Fort Roberdeau in Altoona.
He made the blade from an old tooling bit he found at Construction Junction and the handle from a cherry tree limb that fell in his yard during a storm last year. He used only hand tools and aged it to look like it was made about the same time as the Fort Pitt Block House. Luckily for you, he can’t win two years in a row.
In addition to receiving tickets to the Big Pour, winners’ stories and their projects will be featured on the cover of the Sept. 6 PG Home & Garden section. Enter online only at http://biz.post-gazette.com/RenovationContest/default.aspx. The entry deadline is midnight Aug. 31. Information: post-gazette.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1978.