Please don’t go, Silver Fox Salvage…

Although I understand why this must happen … I wish it wouldn’t.

Although I understand the reasons for this notice … I wish there was another option.

But unfortunately, Silver Fox Salvage – the parts and supply emporium in Albany’s Warehouse District is now on its final weeks.

This Facebook post from last Wednesday sums things up.

If you haven’t already grasped … I’m extremely disappointed.  Silver Fox Salvage has been, for all intents and purposes, a crafting and restoration muse for me.

My association with Silver Fox Salvage goes all the way back to 1991, when I first wandered its hallways and corners in search of something, anything, that would get me over the hump of my divorce.

And then I found it.  An old Queen Anne window, sitting in a corner, gathering dust and just laying there, unwanted and unclaimed.

And it gave me an inspiration.

Say hello to inspiration.

Dream Window 1: The Dream Window of Kenwood Avenue

This was my first “Dream Window,” a concept where I took windows like this, and inserted photographs and glass and other materials into the panes.  I’ve made more than two dozen of these artworks, this was the first and it came directly from Silver Fox Salvage.  Eventually this first Dream Window was donated as part of a fundraising effort for the Albany Damien Center, so this window went from trash to treasure.  Sweet.

Over time, I would find more Dream Window panes at both Silver Fox Salvage and Historic Albany Foundation’s Parts Warehouse, keeping qan eye out for panes that would inspire.

But it wasn’t just Dream Windows that provided Silver Fox’s inspirations for me.

In 2016, I found an old highboy radio cabinet that was distressed and unwanted.  I took it home, cleaned it up, restored it to the best of my ability, and infused it iwth colored mirror glass and vintage drawer knobs.

The K-Chuck Cabinet with shellac and natural stain.

And after I added the colored glass to the missing frame windows…

My film storage hideaway cabinet, now known as the “K-Chuck Cabinet,” was born.

Over time, visits to Silver Fox Salvage were not just about buying an old item and upcycling it.  It also involved talking with the store owner Camille, asking questions and understanding what could be done with the available materials.

When I wanted to build a birdhouse oft of an old soda crate, she told me to come in on a Sunday when it wasn’t busy.  I figured she would take the time and explain what I needed to achieve.  No.  She took me to the back room – to the wood shop – and we strapped on goggles and safety gear, and we chopped up that soda crate and put in the various cuts and portholes for the final construction.  I took the lumber home … and a birdhouse was born.

So yeah, I will miss Silver Fox Salvage very much.

It’s not gone yet … and in fact, I will still visit now and again to get parts and supplies.

And … I do have one more Dream Window construct in my house that I haven’t yet built anything with yet.

I know that inspiration will come from this.  I know it like I know water is wet.

In other words, Silver Fox Salvage helped me get through some very rough times in my life.  And for that, I’m very grateful.  And now the next step is … taking those moments, and building something to celebrate the successes achieved.

On this earth, we are only traveling the route that was cleared by those in front.

So for Fred Shapiro and Camille and the rest of the crew at Silver Fox Salvage …

Thank you for clearing a path – for me and for everybody else who appreciates using vintage materials and reclaimed goods to build something spectacular.