Sunday, August 18, 2013

Catching up and then Off to the Show!



This week had me slaving away at the bench trying to dig myself out of the backlogged projects I’ve had calling me. I was able to make really good headway on a number of objects. I delivered the sideboard and worktable with busted stretchers. The client seemed delighted.



No matter how many times I do this, I always feel a tiny bit nervous right before the client sees their completed piece. I put considerable thought and effort into my work so delivering it to the owner is a little like standing naked before them... You can’t help but become personally invested in the work. 99% percent of the time the clients are ecstatic but there is someone once in while that had different expectations for the final result. I blame myself mostly in these cases as it is my responsibility to make sure conservator and client are on the same page for a realistic outcome. These projects did take a while so I was delighted that they were well received. (I also was happy with the success of the treatments.)



Here is another one I wrapped up this week. A 20th century walnut center table. It was given to me already stripped to raw wood. It now has shellac on the base and satin Enduro-Var for the top.

I recently finished Barbara Applebaum’s excellent book Conservation Treatment Methodology. I plan to write up a review here in the next short while but until then I will say that book coupled with Watson’s Artifacts in Use has been very eye opening to my practice. My thinking about the treatment of antique furniture has been forever changed.



In response to this recent reading I decided to take some time this week to sit down and work out the thought process for a “Values Based” treatment methodology. This is the way I have to work through new ideas: sketches and rough drafts on paper to organize the ideas into something digestible. This is the way I’ve solved many significant theological questions so I expect no different for these philosophical and methodological problems. I plan to share the results of these recent meditations soon.



In other news, the Jonathan Fisher Antique Show (in Blue Hill) on Saturday was excellent. Everything went smooth from the packing of the van to the disassembly of the booth. Every time I do another public demonstration it seems the process becomes a little more efficient. I now know every tool I want to grab. I know what demonstrations people seem to be interested in. I know some better ways to organize the displays. This is great. One more thing that becomes sort of an automatic, not requiring a lot of thinking and figuring. I sure could use that these days.







Many people stopped by, loads of cards were taken, the email list was signed up for, and many potential projects were discussed. All in all it was well worth it. I expect this event will significantly help my much needed winter backlog. Thanks to Karen and all the staff who put this thing together each year. I am looking forward to 2014.















In other news, I have some firewood to split. Good thing I bought a new splitting axe.



3 comments:

  1. Your booth looks like one I would attend.
    What does the visitors prefer to se? dovetails or finishing or something else?
    I think that I would prefer to see some veneering being made, even if it was on a piece of ply wood.
    Good luck with the wood splitting.
    Brgds
    Jonas

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  2. Jonas,

    I've found that people enjoy seeing tasks that move very quickly. You have to keep in mind the people that will stay for less than a minute. It helps to have a before piece, the one your working on, and a completed piece for these people. You don't want to give the impression that if they are going to appreciate anything here they have to hang around for 20 minutes. I've found that people like seeing hand-cutting dovetails, chopping mortises, and planing long curly shavings. Obviously turning is always a popular thing. Mostly people want to see things they've never seen before. (ie. cross cutting with a panel would be boring to them... but come to think of it Boring with a brace and bit isn't boring to them!)I plan to do some french polishing in the future along with other finishing magic.

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  3. Josh,

    After reading the following quote from your blog post; "I recently finished Barbara Applebaum’s excellent book Conservation Treatment Methodology. I plan to write up a review here in the next short while but until then I will say that book coupled with Watson’s Artifacts in Use has been very eye opening to my practice. My thinking about the treatment of antique furniture has been forever changed."

    I decided to purchase the two books and I can't wait to start reading them.

    Cheers,
    FR

    ReplyDelete