Friday, 21 October 2011

A Sorry Tale

Granny's workbox chair

My childproof chair

The no-longer-storage space
I took these photos to show you my next project. The armchair is petite and delighted me as a child because it contained a work 'basket' once filled with my grandmother’s knitting.

Yesterday I took my chair to class to start stripping off the work I’d paid for about 15 years ago. I had never been entirely happy with it, the storage space beneath the lift up seat was filled in and I just made an ordinary loose cover to give the chair protection from little girls. Now I plan to reinstate the storage and upholster the outside.
I left said girls asleep in bed. I wasn’t late for my class but I wasn’t there in time to help set up: I hadn’t allowed for defrosting the car (the first frost of the season), nor the pheasants debating which way to cross the road, nor the lorry I got stuck behind.
Our lovely teacher is of the old school, teaching us traditional methods. The girl who did the work before me has done a modern job: there are staples every centimetre, modern fillings of nylon and foam, and more staples. We use horsehair, coconut fibre and woollen wadding and put in tacks every inch or so. These you take out with a ripping chisel… Staples need a littler, rather less efficient chisel (perhaps just in my hands, but you have to lift two sharp points each time instead of one) and there are just so many!!
You’d think my morning couldn’t get worse, but, in a moment of hammering I sent my chair flying off the trestle and a back leg snapped right off. The leg had woodworm it turns out; hence it was too weak to stand such treatment, but really!

So I spent a couple of hours yesterday afternoon visiting the recommended craftsman who has mended the leg. Assuming I ever get the staples out and the chair reupholstered it won’t show. In the meantime, I have not had a happy day.


Gill said...

I'm sorry to read of your day, thinking that you're right, it's often "one thing after another" isn't it?
I'm with you as far as traditional methods of upholstery go - there really isn't anything better that good, old fashioned techniques and materials. Lucky you for finding a teacher of the old school who is passing on her skills. What a fantastic chair!

A Time for Stitching said...

It's such a sweet little chair with many memories in its history - I'm sure it'll turn out just fine from now on. Looking forward to seeing the finished item.
Teresa x

I'm Crayon said...

Ohhh, some days I just give up and let the day win. A nice glass of wine and soft jammies usually fixes me right up! That chair is adorable. Can't wait to see how it turns out!