Thursday, April 19, 2012

Join The Well of Knowledge!

As a member of The Professional Refinisher’s Group, I am excited to announce the unveiling of their new website… If you are a professional furniture restorer or seeking to enter the field, I highly recommend you join the “Groop”. Highly gifted and studied professionals from all around the country daily communicating to help each other… I have not found any other source this valuable. Here is an excerpt from the main page…

“This is the gathering place for professionals engaged in all aspects of the repair, refinishing, and conservation of furniture and architectural items. It is where we work to preserve and promote the many trades and skills needed to care for both historic and everyday items in a non-commercial "community" setting.
The Professional Refinisher's Group, or "Groop" as it is fondly known by the members, is an informal organization made up of restoration professionals in all 50 states and several foreign countries.

Our primary means of communication is a daily "moderated" email based exchange, where members send in questions, concerns, problems, news and views which are formed into discussion threads to which other members eagerly reply. Our email exchange is open to members only, and discussions run the gamut of issues from business development to specific restoration techniques, from new products, to obscure varieties of shellac, and from Aniline dye to Zebrawood

If you are a professional looking for colleagues who share your passion for the work, and are willing to share their knowledge, we invite you to explore our website and consider joining us.”

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Most Hilarious Conservation Paper Ever Written

When was the last time you busted a gut with hilarity while reading a conservation paper?

Mine was the other week.

Jeff Peachey, book conservator, has written a delightful little tongue-in-cheek paper on a conservation treatment of the Journal of the American Institute for Conservation. I haven't laughed this hard in a while.

Here's an excerpt:

"The preservation and conservation of the Journal of the American Institute for Conservation (JAIC) is perhaps one of the most vexing and complex problems in all of conservation. Three times a year, these journals arrive with bent corners, torn covers, water damage and, in one case, fire damage. Today's successful conservator in private practice must be image conscious - after all, what respectable lawyer has his shelves adorned with tattered paper covers? Gold-stamped leather spines mean something. They mean power and money and wealth and fame, all the things conservators secretly crave... I felt I might not be alone in dealing with this problem, therefore humbly decided to publish the results of this survey and some of the treatments I performed in an attempt to deal with this important, difficult problem."

Here it is:


Friday, April 6, 2012

A Reason to Patronize Whitechapel Ltd.

I recently ordered a set of rosette pulls for a client's piece. I selected Whitechapel Ltd. for their quality. When I received them I was very happy with what I saw. As I was installing them I realized the second to last pull had mistakenly been packaged with one rosette backplate of the the wrong patination. I called customer service, and after explaining my findings, I was assured a new one would be on its way. Only a few days later this package arrived.

What's not surprising is that I wasn't charged anything but what is impressive it that they spent $5.15 to make sure I got that one inch piece of brass immediately. I am impressed. I assumed they would throw it in a dinky little envelope and I'd see it in a week and a half.

This is the kind of business I want to patronize. It's these little things that matter. Thanks, Whitechapel Ltd.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Why Beauty Matters

In case you haven't watched this one yet, I highly recommend you take the hour. George Walker posted this on his excellent blog a while back. My wife and I spent a date night watching it and haven't been able to get it out of our minds since. It has been an excellent mental journey for us through the philosophy of art and beauty.

One word of caution, Scruton includes for critique some "artwork" intended to provoke revulsion and offense. Therefore, some of the content will not be suitable for children.

"Philosopher Roger Scruton presents a provocative essay on the importance of beauty in the arts and in our lives.

In the 20th century, Scruton argues, art, architecture and music turned their backs on beauty, making a cult of ugliness and leading us into a spiritual desert.

Using the thoughts of philosophers from Plato to Kant, and by talking to artists Michael Craig-Martin and Alexander Stoddart, Scruton analyses where art went wrong and presents his own impassioned case for restoring beauty to its traditional position at the center of our civilization."