Sunday, 12 July 2009

Wet Bed and Those Damned Nails

Sarah and Dan came out yesterday afternoon. Dan flexed his muscles and took the big carpet I have been tripping over for weeks up to the garbage cans, and then moved other stuff up there as well. He looked at the weed eaters and told me what to do with the electric one I can manage (it needs a new spool), got the gas one going, and did some clean-up for me.

After dinner (a yummy chicken and veggie curry that Sarah made), we all went swimming with Remi and Kenya. They took shifts because Lucas was in bed sleeping. Sarah and I swam for ages. I'd forgotten just how great it was to skinny dip at night with a water-loving friend.

Afterwards we all joined the baby. I slept the deep uninterrupted sleep of the innocent -- the kind I only seem to have when I feel safe; when other people are sleeping nearby. Kenya came into my bed ... hence the damp bed this morning.

Off and on, all day, before they arrived, I made banana bread, painted schools of little fish on the rockers, dragonflies on the arms, and clouds and birds above the fish pond, and pulled staples and nails from the other chair. I think that chair would have lasted forever if it had been kept indoors. Where a modern craftsperson would have stapled once, the maker of this chair used twenty-five staples going in two directions plus nails and glue. I worked out a rhythm ... thin wedge to start the lift ... screw driver to finish it ... and pliers to pull the whole thing out ... off to the side ... thin wedge ......... until my back began to complain and I had pile to put in the garbage can.

It is almost clear of the staples, nails, burlap and damask now. I am looking at a lovely bright blue silk damask with silvery tracings as the one to use ... maybe paint the chair black with silvery trim? Not sure. I will make a sketch and try out paint colours on paper first, I think. This chair will be happy because it is clean, living indoors away from pigeons who used it for an outhouse, and wearing elegant clothing, not because it is funky. I think!

And I think I will follow the guidelines of the original seat maker ... burlap or the modern equivalent stapled onto the wood frame, dense foam glued in place, the covering stapled on, then a bordering trim attached with pretty upholstery nails.

With this chair and the little fluorescent rocker, I feel that anything I do has to improve it, but this one makes different demands on my newly forming skills. I hope I have what it takes to do the seat properly.


Barbara Carlson said...

With each chair project, you're getting into the nitty-gritty of "production" -- spreading your technical/creative wings to keep being challenged. It is inspiring to watch.

Oma said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Barbara. Sometimes I slip on the slope as I try to climb the curve.