Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I am a Work at Home Dad

I’ve spent the last two days working at home in my living room. I had a few seat weaving projects to get done and it has always seemed that these are great opportunities to plant myself right in the middle of happenings on the home front. It’s wonderful to be able to have jobs like this once in a while but tomorrow it’s back to the studio.

Eden “caning” his little rocking chair with Papa.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Underhill Pole Lathe Complete!

Well, Eden and I finished the pole lathe. I am pretty excited to be able to begin turning. I have to date about 45 minutes experience now. I am definitely a beginner but it is possible to turn out a half way decent spindle with less than an hour experience. We built the 17th century German design rediscovered by Roy Underhill. I have tweaked and fiddled for quite a while trying to get maximum performance out of it. Having no prior experience at a lathe before, I confess that I am not totally sure what I can expect to get out of it. It works well... it's more efficient than I thought it would be.

Below is a video I haphazardly shot yesterday. I show the design features and then demonstrate (ie. learn) turning a spindle. If you have done turning before this video is not for you! (Honestly, the video was put together as a request from my out-of-state family who wanted to see it.) Any tips, advice, critiques are appreciated! After all, I don't really even know what I am doing here!

Now I have a birthday gift that requires turning due in a few weeks so I better get practicing!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Upholstery Conservation - Victorian Church Chairs

Objects Description: 3 Victorian upholstered chairs
Objects Condition: All three chairs needed structural regluing of legs. The webbing foundation on all three chairs was failed with springs projecting out the bottom. There is an approximately 4” tear in one of the show covers. A few of the top carved ornaments were loose as well as two of the apron details. The large chair has a missing piece from the proper right side top ornament. One of the small chairs has a piece of curved molding missing.

Objects Treatment: First, all three chair seats were completely de-upholstered being careful to lay materials aside for later reinstallation. The failed second generation webbing was discarded. All loose joints were disassembled, scraped, and reglued using animal hide glue. After glue was dried, upholstery was reinstalled. With a few exceptions of hard to reach areas, 3/8” staples were used for total re-upholstery in order to minimize damage to frames. Additionally, whenever fasteners went through original material, acid free cardstock strips were placed between them and the fabric. This was to spread out the holding capacity of staples minimizing potential for future fabric tearing and also to facilitate future removal.

New webbing was installed while retaining original webbing in place. Original webbing that was detached and degraded was sewn onto new webbing. Coil springs were returned to original position and lashed in place with Italian ruby twine. Burlap was tacked over the springs followed by the original filling materials finally covered by another burlap layer. The second burlap layer was stitched to filler layer around edge roll as well as in the middle. The next layer in the sequence was a small layer of horsehair followed by the original muslin.

One of the show covers had to be repaired before installation. This was performed by using 3M 90 spray adhesive to adhere a backing strip of cotton duck. Before adhesive setting, the gap was manipulated to be as closed as possible. After dried, the show cover fuzz was harvested from the underside of the folded over edges. Adhesive was laid into gap using a dental pick and fuzz was set in place with tweezers.

Finally, the original show covers were installed with the pink acid free cardstock barrier strips. Finally, the original gimp trimming was reinstalled using molten EVA.

Missing components were molded from in situ examples and casted using a urethane resin. Cured casted components were fitted with sandpaper and chisels. After a hide glue barrier was applied, pieces were installed with epoxy. Installed pieces were inpainted with shellac, NGR dyes, and earth pigments.

After Treatment