When Lucy and I purchased 837 Willard St. for our next home and workshop, we loved the building but were aghast at the paint job. I describe the color of the bricks as “inflatable sex doll” with highlights of baby blue and white.
This week those colors are on the retreat as a crew from Brian Driscoll Painting are repairing, recaulking and repainting the entire exterior. AJ and Jerome, the two painters who started the job, are both older than I am. They are methodical and meticulous. And they both care about good work.
The bricks are being repainted a light grey that has some green in it. The cast iron storefront is going to be a much darker grey. The sills will be a cream color. The details in the sills and cast iron will be picked out in dark grey and cream as appropriate.
We had a limited palette of colors to work with as we are in an historic district and any exterior changes need to be approved by the city. Our color choices were approved five days after submitting them, and I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to see the odd flesh color of our brick being replaced by a nice coat of grey.
You can check out the new paint job for yourself this Saturday as our doors will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Also, I’ll have a three-legged chair from “The Anarchist’s Design Book” on hand for you to try out. Don’t be scared, no one has fallen out of it – yet.
— Christopher Schwarz
This week we are sending “Chairmaker’s Notebook” by Peter Galbert out for a second printing.
Most of the changes made for the second printing are technical in nature – we adjusted the histogram of several of Peter’s hand-drawn images to darken them.
But there is one significant correction to the content of the book, so I would like to post that here for everyone to download for free.
In Chapter 3, Peter presents two pages of plans for the two chairs he built for the book. Because of a scanning error on my part (not Peter’s), the enlargement percentage shown on the pages of the first printing is incorrect. It should be 545 percent (not 540 percent).
Additionally, the drawings for the underside of the seat and the bending form for the balloon-back were slightly off the correct scale.
I spent the morning trying to figure out how I made this error. My conclusion: I screwed up something while scanning the original drawings.
You can download a pdf of the corrected version of those two pages here:
My apologies for the error.
— Christopher Schwarz
Do you need a dose of handmade and hand-decorated? Try “Peasant Art in Sweden, Lapland and Iceland” edited by Charles Holme and published in 1910.
This gorgeous little book includes sections on textiles, metalwork, horn carving and a large section on furniture and wood carvings. From batlets to weaving implements you will find plenty of ideas for your next project or your next litre of beer.
Of course there are carved spoons:
And carved headboards for your bed:
Sprinkled here and there are wonderful pieces like this stool. The carver saw the branches of a tree and it inspired a stool made into the shape of a faithful companion.
Used copies of the book are available or you can read a digital copy here.
Whenever possible, I try to build projects in pairs. Building two pieces doesn’t take twice as long as building one project – it seems to add only about 25 percent to the hours I log in the shop.
By building two pieces at once, I end up with a second one I can also sell. And if something goes totally south during the construction process, I still end up with one finished piece and a bunch of extra parts or firewood.
The funny thing about working on projects in pairs is there is usually one of the two projects that fights me the whole way.
This week I’m finishing two chairs for a client. But I’m beginning to think I should have made three. One of these chairs, we’ll call him Joey, has resisted my every effort to make him a chair. When I assembled his undercarriage, one of his legs busted out a huge chip on the seat when I drove it home.
His armbow split twice during the bending process, even though the oak for both was all from the same dang tree.
While assembling the spindles and arm bow I had to use a 3 lb. sledgehammer to knock Joey’s armbow into the correct orientation.
And when I began bending his crest rail, it split. Twice.
So right now Joey is in “time out” on the bench while I hack up a new log of fresh pin oak for his crest rail. The other chair – its twin – has been waiting for paint for three days now.
— Christopher Schwarz