Saturday, October 30, 2010

New Addition to the Menagerie

A friend of mine gave me this antique chair the other day. She owned it for more than 20 years, and never got around to repairing the seat. It was given to her by her ex in-laws, so that may have something to do with it, lol. When I get to work on it, I'll most likely use steel wool to burnish the wooden arms, slats and legs, and perhaps give it a light coat of natural stain and a matte polyurethane topcoat. I'll leave the original painting on the back intact, patina as I've mentioned before, is quite welcome in my collection. For the seat, I'll probably cut a piece of plywood and then cover it with a nicely padded and upholstered seat cushion in a solid color raw silk fabric. I don't really like to go into fabric stores with much of a game plan though, I like to leave it up to karma and allow my eye to be drawn to the perfect choice at that moment. Isn't the design of this chair beautiful? The backrest is not only curved in plan view (when looking from above), but it's also convex giving a wonderful soft highlight towards the top. It's stored in the newly-organized attic until I can get to it, but looks completely at home up there.

Since I started working in the attic, I've been keeping an arrangement or two of fresh flowers up there. This one has cosmos and perilla, the dark purple foliage. It's sitting on a small two-drawer side table which was handmade by a friend of my father's in the early 1960s. It hasn't lived the comfy life for the past couple of decades, always seeming to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and has received a few ill-conceived paint treatments. It's very high on my list of restoration projects however, and should be back to its original maple finish at some point this winter. Acting as a backdrop is my painting, "Modern Life No. 2" which I created on new mahogany boards in 2007.


  1. What a great gift your friend gave you. It makes me think of a lamp my mom had..I get the concave part of the chair, but am not seeing the convex..I don't have a good eye for that sort of thing. Please please promise to show us the finished product. This will be a real gem.

  2. When I start to work on it, I'll make sure I take some photos of it from the side so the convex area shows up better. I'm torn right now. I want to do more art, but I'm having a "hankering" to work on some of my furniture that's piled up to be repaired/restored. As you can guess, I'm the person that my friends give broken things to. They don't want them back usually, they would just rather let me see what I can do with them when I can get to them. I have a cool hexagon shaped occasional table that is leather covered on the top, but has been painted a few times. I'd love to get the paint off the leather top and see what it was originally. It would make a great table for a floral arrangement and some toy cars, hahahaha. Like everything else around here!

  3. "Flowers in the Attic", hm mm another great book title. Now just need someone to fill in all the blank pages with some words.

    The 'new' chair looks interesting. I have one re-upholstery project I did, a small antique chair. It turned out very nice with its little tufted back, but my fingers were so sore from being pelted by that deadly tack hammer I swore never to attempt that type of project again.

    My friend gave a seat weaving class once using a flat type cane, which we soaked before starting the weaving process, a herringbone pattern. That was fun as well, but probably will be a once in a lifetime project, also tough on the fingers.

  4. Caning seats is such an art! My parents used to know a woman that did that. A few times my father bartered with her. Once he finished the woodwork on a chair that needed a cane seat, he'd bring it to her. Once he painted a guest room top to bottom for her and she did the new seat. Another time he trimmed all of her shrubs that had gotten out of control around her house. She did great work, including the art of drying tiny flowers and making notecards with them. I know I have some around here. Good idea for a scan and a post!