Friday, 9 March 2012

Three and Four Times Tables

     Two more tables. The first is a straight forward circular, drum-style, dark mahogany table. It has a faux drawer front, with a brass handle, and cabriole legs. It's a modernish piece, probably seventies or eighties, made to look like an 'olde-style' antique table. It has a highly polished finish, which in an authentic antique would be French polished, but the effect here is obtained from high gloss varnish.

The second table is a side table, incorporating a magazine rack, in the French style. This is a contemporary piece, if you look on-line you'll find them for sale at a range of prices (from about £70 to around £200). It is solid wood, the sides are lyre-shaped, the feet slipper-shaped, and the rack has turned spindles.

Both are eBay auction wins. The circular table cost £10, the magazine rack was £5. 

I spent the rest of the day polishing, laying veneer, filling pin-holes, and painting the masts on the Cutty Sark model, (together with painting a couple of smaller models - which will appear in due course). It's difficult to illustrate the amount of work involved in polishing the fireplace (for example) - putting on a layer of polish, rubbing it back with steel wool, polishing again, rubbing back again, for a couple of hours. The aim is to build up the layers of shellac to achieve a deeply coloured, highly polished surface. Some professional French polishers will apply in excess of a hundred layers to get the finish they require. This takes time (and a high level of skill). To the cursory glance, you can get the look with a can of yacht varnish and a soft brush. You can also buy a budget price chicken and a coq au vin sauce in a tin, or you could get a free-range bird, a bottle of red, some bacon, herbs, pearl onions, etc. and do a proper job. Then again, you can blow a couple of grand on a designer bag, or you can get a bag for life for a quid. Both'll carry your stuff about the place. You decide.

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