Wednesday, 23 January 2019

The Year of the Pig 2019

I don't want to boar bore you but 2019 is the Year of the Pig bench. Yes, The Pig is the last of the 12 animals in the zodiac so from February 5th 2019 to January 24, 2020 pig benches will be much in evidence. 

Take a seat on the couch and I'll show you some brilliant pig benches.

But I'm not going to hog all the limelight; I've asked a few of my friends and neighbours here on Paradise Island to show me their favourite porcine benches. 

Pigs are intelligent and playful so it's going to be lively! Frezza, Engraving_by_a._Wellcome_V0021683.jpg

Eddie is my Inner Editor, who just happens to be a primate. He has to put up a picture of himself before we can begin.

Eddie: I preferred 2016. That was the Year of the Monkey Bench.

Hear no, see no, speak no monkeys, Eddie. 

It's the year of the Earth Pig so no monkeys

This year we're looking at good, solid, honest, reliable, hardworking pig benches.

If you were born in 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995 or 2007 then you're a Pig.

Lord Brassica, Fifth Earl of Drizzly: Crumbs and double crumbs, I'm no pig. I live in Castle Broccoli don't you know.

Henry VIII lived in a castle and he was a pig. Born in 1491, the Year of the Pig.

Lord Brassica: This is beastly. Pigs are a frightful bore.  

Don't be disgruntled, Lord B. People born in the Year of the Pig have a lot of nice characteristics. They're truthful, sincere, generous, and have a good sense of humour.   

Lord B:  Doesn't sound like me at all. 

Eddie: Too right. Maybe you're one of those Pigs who are lazy, clumsy and easily fooled.

Root, son of Lord Brassica: That's me! Defo. I'm always getting fooled into getting blotto.

I wonder if both of you are pigs.

Lord B: Come to think of it, I was born in 1955.

Well, that's a different thing altogether. That was The Year of the Goat bench.

Lord B: I've never cared for goats. Filthy things.

Pigs may be a little naive but they're never filthy. 

Lord B: Perhaps I was born in 1971. That was the Year of the Cow.

Sadly, there is no Year of the Cow. But now it's the Year of the Pig and I'd like to show you some sty-lish porcine benches.

His Excellency, one of my husbands: This is a contemporary and very arty interpretation of the traditional pig bench which was used historicallly for . . .

Mungo, my other husband: We don't want to hear about butchery. 

True. This is an upbeat story about The Year of the Pig bench. Here is a beautiful
pig bench in the woods in Wales.

Now I invite everyone to say what sort of pig bench they'd like to see. Eddie, you go first. 

Eddie: Pearls before swine, as they say. 

Come on, work with me here. Show some interest in benches. And pigs.

Lord Brassica: As a gentleman farmer I'm very interested in pigs goats sheep chickens cows money.

Yes, but we're here for benches. Pig benches!

 Eddie: Is this going to take long?

Tamsin, a local girl: I like Peppa. She's my favourite pig.

His Excellency: I hope you're aware that this isn't a real pig?

Tamsin: Peppa IS real! 

Benches please. No arguments, just pig benches.

His Excellency: Looks like pulled pork.

Mungo: I don't like pulled pork. I'm a vegetarian.

Root, son of Lord Brassica: I could murder a bacon sarnie right now.

Well, I do happen to have a bacon bench to hand.

His Excellency: Would you like an egg bench with that?

Root: Yes, and I need a spot of Tommy K.

This bench might work.

Eddie: This is a ham-fisted attempt to get other people to put up photos for you. Stop with the pigs. Here is a very good monkey bench. 

But it's not the Year of the Monkey, Eddie, as you know. In fact, Pigs do not get on well with monkeys. 

Or snakes.

It's actually quite a cute little snake bench. 

If you're a Pig, you should avoid snake benches. 

Miggy, my imaginary best friend: I would do that anyway. I have no interest in snakes of any kind.  

Tamsin: Me neither. I LOVE fluffy stuff! 

Tamsin: Oh, fluffy bunnies!

Eddie: What is this, the Year of the Guinea Pig? It'll be rabbits next. 

As it happens, pigs get on well with rabbit benches.

Miggy: Rabbits are fine. Horses are brilliant though.

Miggy: And cats.

my photo, Dordrecht, Netherlands

Lord Brassica: don't start on ruddy cats.

His Excellency: I'm partial to labradors.

Lord Brassica: And cows. By jove, I like a jolly bovine.

Tamsin: What about Porky? And Petunia of course.

Miggy: They look happy as pigs on a bench.

Or a chair.

Tamsin: Oh, this looks soooooo comfy! 

Enough! There is too much idle chat going on here.

©pamela silin palmer @

We need to stick with the subject here, which is PIG benches.

Mungo: The words might and fly come to mind.

Yes, Mungo, but the truth is, pig benches are quite hard to find. Except for the historical ones. 

His Excellency: The pig bench that dares not speak its name.

Tamsin: What, Peppa? 

His Excellency: Is a pig who loses its voice disgruntled? 

No puns please. We're trying to make a serious point here.

Mungo: Back in the day pig benches were used to slaughter and cut up pigs. 

Image omitted to save readers distress 

Tamsin: I don't want to see that. I just want to see fluffy stuff. 

His Excellency: We've had quite enough fluff already. 

Tamsin: I've got an idea! 

Lord Brassica: Oh my giddy aunt, it's been yonks since I've seen one of these. 

Root Brassica: Best thing since oysters and jam roly poly. 

Well, this is all marvelous but we need to get on with the story. There needs to be a little give and take here.

Tin Fu Court Pig Sculpture Seats,© Prosperity Horizons CC BY-SA 4.0 

Miggy: I've done some rooting around for you and I've found quite a few benches. Pigs are very sociable you know. Look what a good time these three are having.

©pamela silin palmer

Mungo: Why do pigs always come in threes?

Just luck I guess. And speaking of luck, pigs are very lucky. They can expect a year of wealth and good fortune in 2019.

Lucky numbers are two, five and eight. Avoid one, three and nine.

His Excellency: I think you're telling some porkie pies here, Seashell. There's no such thing as a lucky number. Numbers are random. 

Want to bet on it?

Miggy: What's the lucky colour this year? Pink I guess?

No, it's yellow.

Miggy: Oh good, I'm happy as a pig in muck. I love yellow benches! 

Miggy: They're so pretty!

my photo, Dartmouth, Devon UK

Miggy: This one's a bit like a pig - it has a little twist in the tail.

His Excellency: You're making a pig of yourself here, Migs. 

©pamela silin palmer @

Yes, I think we should move on. 

Lord Brassica: I quite agree. This stuff about pigs is a load of hogwash.

It's pig BENCHES, Lord B. Not just pigs for their own sake. 

source of image unknown

Root: I saw some pigs at The Dustpan and i-pod last night. 

Eddie: Three of them?

Mungo: Anything to do with brick benches?

His Excellency: Or wood benches?

Or straw?

Root: Naw, but all three of them were shaped like barrels.

We're not going there. I'm trying to keep my readers engaged here. 

Eddie: You have readers? 

Of course I have readers. Benchsite is a well established blog. 

His Excellency: If you believe that, you'll believe anything.

Eddie: You're not one of those gullible pigs are you?

Vintage advertising

Tamsin: I'd like to see The Three Little Pigs.

Eddie: There is only one bench here.

I guess the other two are in invisible oink.

His Excellency: That is a pathetic pun and you know it. 

Lord Brassica: I say, this whole story has been a load of nincompoopery.

Tamsin: Except for the fluffy bunnies.

Mungo: I quite like the bricks.

His Excellency: Nothing whatever to do with pig benches though.

Sorry. I'm just feeling under stress because we don't have enough pig benches.

Miggy: Well, you can't make a silk bench out of a sow's ear.

Too right, Migs. 

I'm going to stop here and wish you all a very happy and prosperous Year of the Pig.  

And by the way, it's National Pig Day on March 1st. 


Chinese New Year is an annual event here on Benchsite. 2020 is The Year of the Rat Bench. 

In 2018 it was The Year of the Unicorn Dog and we got in a bit of a muddle about unicorns dogs. In 2017 it was the Year of the Rooster and there's quite a bit about Chinese beer in that story as well. The Year of the Monkey Bench went on for far too long in 2016 and contained a lot of monkey business. Back in 2015 it was Goats and/or possibly Sheep Benches. 2014? That was Horse Benches

Back in 2011,designer Pavia Burroughs from Philadelphia created a pig couch for her senior design thesis. Hillhock, she calls it, is a very lightweight and durable porker couch stuffed with padding and insulation foam. He is completely hand stitched, upholstered in dusty pink velvet and pink satin, sports two hand carved walnut hooves and two glass taxidermy eyes.  Nowadays Pavia runs an etsy shop called As Cold as Earth where she sells occult sundries and folklore fun.

The lively leaping pig on a bench is an engraving by Isodoro Frezza. It's an image from Wellcome, available on Creative Commons license 4.0.,_leaping_pig._Engraving_by_I._Frezza._Wellcome_V0021683.jpg  Wellcome has some terrific images at   

The photograph of Eddie working at his desk is his favourite picture. Eddie is my Inner Editor, who just happens to be a primate. If you've seen much of Benchsite you will know what a problem Eddie is for me. He has ruined helped me edit the post about my swimming bench and the Blue Monday benches.  He interfered with stepped in to help with the Orange bench mystery. However, he has a habit of setting his own agenda with the benches. Look what a mess he made great job he did on St. George's Day . And as for my Red benches in February? No wonder I was very grateful seeing red. 

Three Wise Monkey benches are easy to find in bronze, plastic and just about any material you desire but I liked these life-size Three Wise Monkeys On A Bench from 

I am lucky enough to have two husbands. One is Mungo, my imaginary husband, who keeps a good workbench.  The other is His Excellency, who has a reputation for destruction, even when he means well. He's a philosopher and, to say the least, not a very practical person. You can appreciate his difficulties if you know his school bench history. 

Back in 2007 the gorgeous city of Seattle commissioned 100 pig statues, some of which were benches. Avi photographed them for her Pigs on Parade Flickr album.  Pig #92 she calls Pygwhalion, a suitable name.  Pig #36 is a barrel pig  If you want to pig out on pigs, have a look at her album.

Lord Brassica, Fifth Earl of Drizzly, is a gentleman farmer here on Paradise Island. He loves his horse Tonks, his dog Pru,and his 1947 Landrover, in that order. He indulges his wife, Lady Jessica Brassica with a replica mall in the basement of Drizzly Manor, a beach hut on the Esplanade, and unlimited amounts of cash for shopping. However, it has emerged that he doesn't know as much as you'd think about farm animal benches, especially cow benches or sheep benches. He knows a bit more about horse benches, learned from his horse Tonks, and possibly something about dog benches from his dog Pru. As you've seen though, what he really knows is picnic benches.

Glen Sherwin designed and made the cute little double-end pig bench. Glen works from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, where he provides detailed woodworking plans of many original designs that are fun and durable. His designs are easy to build using simple construction technique and they are designed for years of enjoyment. You can buy the plan, which provides all of the details you need to complete the project.

Erika Crofut from Connecticut made the beautiful goat bench on the porch. It was one of the animal benches Noah saved on his ark back in 2013. Erica has other bright, fun animal benches and sofas on her website at  Erika explains: I have always loved the process of transforming a thought from my head into something physical that can be shared with people . . . My projects are all attempts to interpret and visually articulate ties between history, family, and stories. . .  I use my art to express my amazement and gratitude for how beautiful an average day can be.

The brightly coloured flowery blue bench was photographed by Nathaniel Moseley at Mont St Michel in 2013. He describes his photography as travel photography, focusing on architecture, art, some landscape, and what you might call still life. He tries not to get people and cars in his photos so that the photo shows the solitary side of travel.

The Pig Bench (2013) by Misha Kahn is a simple seating unit designed to look like it was cut from a tree, but is actually made completely of synthetic materials. The intent of the design is to make a commentary on the juxtaposition of technology in the American midwest, where Wi-Fi coexists with log cabins, an excerpt taken from the Cargo Collective website.   This hybrid of natural and synthetic biology re-imagines organic plant life as if it was comprised of man-made materials like conduit, rope and tinsel. The myriad of objects form chemically created growths, layers and rings that are like psychedelic versions of geodes, tree bark or barnacles

Eirlys Howard (aka snowdrop 500) is a very keen amateur photographer in Wales. In April 2017 she took a lovely photo of a pig bench in the woods; it’s Pig Paradise.

The lifesize pink pig bench is from Jolly Roger Ltd., otherwise known as Lifesize Models in the UK.  They have thousands of quality resin and fibre-glass 3D life-size models, figures, signs, statues, props, furnishings, etc. Their showroom has over 2000 themed models, which include animals, people, and everything from counter-top coffee beans to fullsize elephants. Their Facebook page shows some of the models in amazing situations  You will also find them talked about on Twitter

The polystone long pig is from and he's named Wilbur (after the genius pig in Charlotte's Web I think). Decor Steals is a home daily deals site which offers three special offers every day at 10 am EST. Deals are only available for 24 hours and Wilbur was very popular so he's sold out. 

Tamsin is a sweet local girl who works here in Fribble-under-Par in the Not Quite Good Enough Pharmacy. Ever a follower of fashion, Tamsin likes to try anything new, even lurid purple Easter frocks. She has a rather odd perspective on life, as shown in the post she helped me with about big and small benches. If you think size doesn't matter, you ought to see it.

The Peppa Pig toy storage box is a product from Hello Home, which does a whole range of furniture for kids - Disney princesses, car beds, Spiderman, unicorns, Peppa. It's everything a kid could want.

The pulled pig bench was outside the Healdsburg Charcuterie in Healdsburg, California in 2010. It was photographed by Niall Kennedy, a software engineer who likes hiking, dogs, food, travel and scenes around his home and work in the San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

If you doubt that it's possible to find anything online, try Googling Bacon and Bench. Yep. Here's the bacon-coffee-table-handmade bench, which sold on Etsy in 2011 for round about £475.77.  The creator is Ryan Fitzpatrick, from Texas, whose shop is Masters of Fate at

The egg bench is by designer Grace e Chen, first seen on Inhabitat in 2010. Inhabitat is a female designer working in cyberspace from Novato, California.  However, the photo of Grace's debut bench that I have used here was seen at, together with the later picture of someone (Grace?) sitting on the bench. Here is Grace's explanation of her work: Composed of six dozen eggs delicately seated on a solid walnut base, Egg Bench was created to challenge common misconception that eggs are fragile. By researching this complex physical structure, I discovered that each egg can support and distribute a load of 120 lbs maximum. To insure success, my unique design isolates each egg into an optimum position and ensures that it remains motionless. The result is a piece that invites the sitter to suspend their disbelief and to embrace a new appreciation for this powerful, natural creation   

I am particularly fond of Edible Benches. The tomato bench is in Rochester, New York, photographed by Rude Big Dog, who lives in Los Angeles and almost always has a camera with him. His photo sets includes lots of delicious-looking food and street scenes of Los Angeles which makes me homesick. The tomato bench was created by Chris Pallace and Kevin Serwacki for Benches on Parade in Rochester in 2010.

The two serene minimalist monkeys holding up a bench are in the Singapore Japanese Gardens, photographed by the Everyday Minimalist on her extensive, minimalist travels. This is a girl who knows how to live out of one suitcase. She has a fascinating website with excellent minimalist advice at 

The snake bench is a creation by B Zedan in 2007. It's Griffen, juggling on a bench, a scene from Jenn Manley-Lee's online graphic novel Dicebox, which tells the story of an eventful year in the lives of Griffen & Molly, who started off as a couple of itinerant factory workers in a space-traveling future.  When B Zedan first saw this she knew she had to make it. She makes lots of things: paper, miniature books, crazy nails.  She says the snake bench was way harder to make than the figure herself.

Michael James photographed his two pretty guinea pigs back in 2008. Married to the lovely Hayley, James is a church keyboardest and a web developer.

Georgia Gerber sculpted the beautiful bronze rabbit. Georgia creates bronze sculpture primarily working with life size animal and human figures, often incorporating architectural or abstract elements with an emphasis on creating accessible public art which encourages viewer interaction. She has an amazing studio and garden at Whidbey Island, Washington. Her bronze sculptures can be seen at

The handsome black and gold horse is by 3D Rivers, whose mission is to help the internet community meet the growing need for a wide range of well-designed, high quality 3D models and consumer goods products in a constantly changing environment. They offer a huge range of 3D products including things like buildings, transport, everyday objects, characters, model packs, animals, and yes, of course, benches. This Indian-style horse is one of the many different kinds of benches available via their online site at He has already appeared on Benchsite as one of the animals on Noah's Ark

The cat bench is one of very many Social Sofas created by local communities in The Netherlands. I cycled around two summers photographing them; this one is in Dordrecht.

The two stately Labradors were made by Stephen Huneck, a self-taught sculptor who carved by hand. The Stephen Huneck Gallery is at Dog Mountain, in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.  Dog Mountain is set on a 150 acre private mountaintop and is always open to people and their dogs. Its unspoiled haven is covered with hiking trails and dog ponds. There is no leash law on DogMountain: dogs are not just welcome here, they are cherished! Dogs are free to run, play, swim and best of all meet other dogs! Stephen's artworks, include paintings, sculptures, books, and a Dog Chapel, "A place where people can go and celebrate the spiritual bond they have with their dogs. It is the largest artwork of my life and my most personal." Stephen died in 2010 but his love of dogs lives on in his artwork.

I don't usually resort to Pinterest for images but this time Illy Quiñones had just what I needed: Porky and Petunia next to a bench.

Mingjungkim from Livonia, Michigan 2006 photographed the squishy pig chair back in 2006. She has two beautiful little girls who no doubt love the pig chair.

The strikingly beautiful headless leather cows are by designer Julia Lohmann (born in Germany 1977) and now based in London and Hamburg.  The Cow Benches (2004)  have appeared in design shows all over the world and are much photographed wherever they are exhibited. The designer describes them as a bovine momento mori. She explores the contradictions in our use of animals, using offal, offcuts of leather, and meat industry waste products in her work. The Cow Benches all have names, for example Belinda and Antonia and Waltraud. 

The pig sculpture benches are in Tin Fu Court in Tin Shui Wai, Hong Kong. They were ph otographed in 2017 by Prosperity Horizons and made available on 
Creative Commons attribution-share Alike 4.0 International license at  

What This Story Needs is a Pig in a Wig is kid-tested and kid-approved. It's from the series What This Story Needs is . . . and there are lots of lovely illustrations and rhyming animals. It's a real favourite with young readers.The author is Emma  J. Virján, who was born under an Aries moon on a Wednesday, her dad’s bowling night. She loves to draw and work in her garden, and she often lets her dog sleep on the couch. She lives in Austin, Texas, where she spends her days as an illustrator and graphic designer.

Pamela Silin-Palmer is a decorative artist, fine artist, and illustrator who now lives in Ireland. She makes magical paintings, greeting cards, dolls, paper products, and glorious hand-painted fantasy furniture from her Faunus Studio. From renaissance rabbits to royal boars, her website is full of fun and fantasy - a real delight!  Pigs are one of her specialities and she has many fabulous pigs on her products. The two sows together are called Gimmee! You may have noticed the watermelon. The other pig bench is three porcine characters who look suspiciously like The Three Little Pigs. Then there's a delightful painting of a cheerful pig at table, which is a book cover from Palmer Studios. All images are ©Pamela Silin Palmer.  In a previous Benchsite story Pamela's rabbit and sow benches were lucky enough to make it onto Noah's Ark in time for World Animal's Day. 

Pigs might fly indeed. In November 2018 Gerry Dincher photographed one on the Piggly Wiggly in Sanford, North Carolina at the intersection of South Horner Boulevard and Main Street. Gerry is a fifth grade teacher who likes to take pictures of old and small towns that have seen better days.

Kim Smith owns a dramatic web design company in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She photographed the money bench in 2007.  Her photo sets contains lots of friends and family and her landscapes  make Michigan look like a beautiful place. In fact, Mackinac Island doesn't look so different from my own Paradise Island . . .

ro_chi has no profile so there is very little I can say about him or her except that the photostream is brilliant and all photographs are available on Creative Commons. For my Fiesta of Mexican benches story I could have done almost a whole Mexican bench blog from ro_chi's photos alone. The Poker bench,  I think, is by Darthko   ro_chi calls the Poker bench the Ace of Hearts (As de corzones ). It sounds lovely in Spanish.

Yellow benches are a bit of a tradition here on Benchsite. Here's some springy ones that will get you in the mood for, um, spring. 

The yellow bench with a flower on it was in Klarenbeek, Middelburg, Zeeland in 2009. It was photographed by Andreas Fasbender, who is from Aachen in Germany. Andreas has a photostream which includes carnivals, landscapes, travel, and lots of pictures of people on benches.

The brilliant yellow sofa with two hearts is in the Netherlands. It's made by Guusje Beverdam, who specialises in ceramics which are durable, low maintenance, vandal-proof and frost resistant. I have admired her work ever since Mungo and I spent a summer holiday cycling in Overijssel and came across what I still call The Enschede Sofa. Guusje calls it a loveseat.  It's made of clay and fired at 1160 degrees and then glazed in her characteristic bright colours. What a treat to find street furniture like this!  She was Arts Woman of Overijssel in 2012 and no wonder. You can watch videos of her working on her website at  For more brilliant Dutch design see

I photographed the sunny yellow bench and the boat full of tulips on a street in Dartmouth, Devon in May 2016. Oh, it was gloriously sunny that day!

Punktoad is a visual artist living in Oakland. The yellow bench twisting around and disappearing into the ground is at the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, Indianapolis Art Museum in Indiana. I'm pretty sure it's one of the many benches from Danish designer Jeppe Hein, who appears in an earlier Benchsite post about social and anti-social benches. This bench is in Punktoad's photostream at

The double pig-headed bench is one which I have been unable to find credits for. I always try to find and contact designers wherever possible but this time, after much searching, I am defeated. I don't know where it is, or when. I don't know who made it or why. All information gratefully accepted.

The bright red Hogs bench celebrates the Arkansas Razorbacks, also known as the Hogs. They are the mascots of college sports teams at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  This is an officially licensed bench from Authentic Country Living at United General Supply in Houston, Texas. The bench is a sturdy steel frame construction, as you might expect from a big strong hog.

The folk carved wood pig bench was for sale at auction back in October 2017. Its estimated price was $60-$80. I wonder what they got for it?

Guido J. van den Elshout and colleagues were blogging from The Netherlands at Way back in 2011 they found the Bricks and Mortar Sofa which was designed by Richard Woods & Sebastian Wrong for Established and Sons.  Speaking of The Netherlands, have you seen all the grear designs in the Alphabet of Dutch Benches

The more sharp-eyed of you will have spotted that the bench at the end of the story is not made of straw; it's actually bamboo. Gal Ben-Arav is an industrial designer, focusing on new technologies, creativity and sustainable design. He graduated B.Des from Bezalel Academy for art and design in 2010. The bamboo bench has different designs and colours. His website is at

The Three Little Pigs bench at the end of the story is from the Big Read Traditional Tales project in Birmingham (UK) in August 2016. the project schools and community groups decorated book benches to represent books or stories. The bench in this photo was in the Zellig building of The Custard Factory, where it was photographed by Tim Ellis

In 2014 David Prasad photographed a brick bench in Avalon, Santa Catalina Island in California. David describes himself as a working schmoe that's been to college and got a "C." He's been a firefighter, a college LGBTI club leader, a graphics designer, a seafood processor, a dishwasher, and a prep cook at a restaurant in Oregon. Having had the privilege of traveling all around the world, he forever misses California

The lovely pig statue at the end of the story was photographed in 2009 by James Burke, a student in Strabane in Northern Ireland.

If you love animals see which animal benches Noah saved on the Ark. If you like pig benches, then you're looking in the right place and there are more small, large and faraway dog benches at  On the other hand, if you prefer cats, let Meredith show you some fabulous feline benches. Maybe you like rabbits: bunny benches are not just for Easter you know. Sheep? We've got some Baaaaaad ones here on Benchsite. And monkeys? We've got those too. And finally, for the Cream of Bovine Benches, let Lord Brassica show you his cows.

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