As I recall from years long past there is in Miami a notorious interchange known as “The Spaghetti Bowl,” no doubt the result of some distant urban planner making a dot on a map and saying, “This is where all the highways meet!” I have no doubt that similar complexes exist in many metropolitan areas, but the one in Miami is especially memorable due to the highway routes being stacked five high as they weave together, merging and departing with and from each other.
This absurd traffic construct serves as a nearly perfect metaphor for the current fortnight. It seems that the threads of LAP and other projects are stacked about five high.
Last night I sent off my final review of the page proofs for “Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley,” which Chris sent me last week when I was in Florida on a speaking engagement talking about my favorite topic – historic wood finishing – and reveling in a reunion with my mom and all of my siblings. I spent what time I could on the review, but did not actually finish until midnight last night. I feel about 500 pounds lighter today.
I am not displeased with the product (that is Donspeak for “Holy cow, this is great!” If I wasn’t such a Calvinist I would be really proud). Narayan’s photos and Wesley’s design make the book a nearly decadent experience. The book goes to press very soon (Ed note: Next week), and I am very much anticipating the first of several boxes of books arriving on my doorstep. (I owe copies to about two score contributors to the effort.)
The preparations for the accompanying H.O. Studley exhibit are in red-hot mode, as my fabrication of the exhibit accouterments are well underway, the first slate of big checks have flowed out for the exhibit hall rental, platform and vitrine fabrication, insurance, graphics, lighting, secured shipping, etc.… Tickets are still available, so if you ever wanted to get up close and personal with Studley’s tool cabinet and workbench, this may be your one and only chance.
On Saturday past I presented “Making New Finishes Look Old” for the Society of American Period Furniture Makers’ Tidewater chapter, a test run for my demonstration at the SAPFM Mid-Year meeting in Knoxville, Tenn., in June. Increasingly I find my mind wandering and fingers noodling on the keyboard in crafting my magnum opus “Historic Finisher’s Handbook” (HFH), which will begin in earnest as soon as I complete the revisions for “Roubo on Furniture Making” this summer, and then take the following three years. If I go “dark” this autumn it is because I’m up in the barn having too much fun working through the dozens of recipes detailed in HFH.
And today I spent some time conserving a Roentgen desk; tonight I’m wrapping up the conservation of a c.1720 Italian tortoiseshell veneer mirror frame with another dozen conservation projects in wait.
Yeah, I think the “Spaghetti Bowl” description is just about right.
— Don Williams