Tom's blog

Why do people collect all those corks?

If you are like most people, you're reluctant to throw away your corks. You have no idea what to do with the corks, but you just can't throw them away. So they go into a basket or a big jar that remarkably becomes a room decoration. You probably save hotel shampoo containers too and somewhere in the house is a bag of restaurant matches. Seek help.


I was recently at a rented cabin in Washington and there in the corner next to the fireplace was a basket of corks contributed by the various renters who occupied the place over the years. By the names on the corks, the renters drank cheaply. I told the landlord I had never seen a collection of this size. He emailed me that a youngster, bored by the rain, once counted them -- 1,435 and still amassing.

In the kitchen drawers were a couple of cork trivets -- the landlord's gallant effort to put the corks to use. He could have built hundreds of these and made a mint at the local flea market.


I neighbor asked me to collect corks for her, then presented me with a gift: a house built with my corks and some crafty accessories. It was probably the most unique use of corks.

I did like a friend's wall hanging, a vertical display around a photo of him and his wife. Each cork came from a bottle they shared. It's enough to move a person to tears.


I had a party last night and found 15 corks sitting around this morning. It grieved me, but I threw them away. Sometimes a trashed cork is a piece of art.