In the autumn of 2015 there was considerable interest in the auction of the notebook of the early-18th century joiner, John Widdifield. A private collector prevailed in the auction and agreed to make the notebook available for publication and study by the Chipstone Foundation and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The initial article about Widdifield and his notebook was published in “American Furniture” and is available from Chipstone to read online here.
If you would like to take a closer look at each page of the notebook click on ‘Show all Figures only’ on the upper right hand of the page and a window will open.
Above is a photo I took of our storefront this morning as I got to work. Notice anything different? Me neither.
But we have a new roof on 837 Willard St., which took almost 10 months of wrangling and four roofing companies to complete. We removed four ersatz skylights, added a hatch to the roof (who doesn’t want a hatch?) and now we don’t have buckets located strategically throughout the third floor.
To celebrate, Lucy and I want to Pontiac barbecue last night and ate a cow.
This is the end of phase one of the work we are doing on the building. Phase one was about stabilizing the structure – concrete and French drains in the basement, new gutters, repair the deck, replace the rotting fence, caulk and paint the exterior, install a sump pump, new windows on the first floor and a new roof. Oh, and gutting the first floor for my workshop.
All that took about 18 months, hundreds of hours of work and more money than most families spend on a college education. And as our personal bank balance veered toward zero this winter, we began to get stressed. Luckily, a couple commissions and articles came through and we are back in the black.
The plan now is to take the next 12 months to work on the cosmetic stuff that doesn’t cost much money or require professional help. I’m going to install a new back door to the shop ($400), install a floating floor in the utility area ($385) and start demolishing the interior walls in the Horse Garage for the machine room (cost: paying for beer for my friends).
Oh, and I’m going to enjoy not writing huge checks for a while (knock wood that there is no Godzilla attack this spring).