Saturday, September 24, 2011

No Conservator Can Live Without Spit


"We all know the virtues of spit cleaning. Spit is warm, when fresh, and highly polar. It is also pH and ionic strength balanced and contains amylase, the starch-"eating" enzyme. No conservator could live without spit, no matter how embarrassing it is in a report."

- Chris Stavroudis and Sharon Blank, "Solvents and Sensibility"

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Back Splat Splice Repair

I have been repairing a back splat from a rocking chair recently. It split and then experienced serious shrinking making it impossible to clamp back together. I determined to splice in pieces of oak.



Here's the split with pencil marks for where I need to remove wood to fit the splice.



Planing the surface down to the lines.



Boths sides planed and ready for splice to be glued in.



Gluing the splice in.



Splice shaped.



Now it's ready for coloring.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Interview With A Craftsman



I had an interview recently. Here's an excerpt...

Wal-Mart, Ikea, ahoy! The demand for inexpensive goods and services surges forward in America, carrying waves of heartless fabricated furniture kits, filling dumps with here-today-and-gone-tomorrow junk. For this reason one can’t help but feel refreshed, and not a little bowed in the presence of a true, old-world-style craftsman.

Joshua Klein is such a man, equally graced with acumen and artfulness, skill and sentiment in the fashion of bygone artisans. His specialty, wood finishing and antique restoration, has put him on the map as one of the up-and-coming tradesmen in his field. I had an opportunity this week to speak with Joshua about his work and personal history, and to find out what made a young metalhead from the Wisconsin suburbs turn back to the old paths of Down East’s rustic tradition.


To read the whole article, click the link:

http://www.michaelspotts.com/post/10145509328/interview-with-a-craftsman-joshua-klein-antique

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Linguistic Leaping of Laccifer Lacca



In doing a recent Google images search for "shellacking" I found pages upon pages of President Obama's face. I couldn't believe it. Not sure if you remember the hot topic of the press in November, but the quotation from the November 4th NPR article below helps us to understand just how it is that "shellacking" came to mean "defeat"...

"NPR's Robert Siegel and Michele Norris contemplate the word "shellacking" as used by President Obama on Wednesday, in talking about the election successes by Republicans in the midterm contests. How did the name of a substance used to provide the final coat on paint or other surfaces come to be used to express a drubbing?


SIEGEL: So how did shellac make the linguistic leap to defeat? Jesse Sheidlower, of the Oxford English Dictionary, was half-expecting our call about this today. But he didn't find a definitive answer. He ruled out origins in sports. And he said shellac smelled of alcohol and became slang for drunk. He says it was prison slang.

NORRIS: From crime to politics, meaning washed up or trounced - which is, in case you missed it, exactly what happened to the Democratic Party in Tuesday's elections."

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Goodbye, Summer.



Ahh... another Maine summer passing away before my eyes. A sweet season much too short.