Sunday, January 27, 2013

Something quick and easy for a change

Yesterday we had the first workshop for this year at our Johannesburg club. We made a letter holder in cherry wood. It was fun to finish something for a change in a few hours ;-)

Here is my letter holder.

And here are all the pieces, from top to bottom: the base, front, back, center divider and the sides to the left and right. We could choose the shaping of the back, divider and sides for ourselves, I didn't feel like making curves and decided to use angles. On the back and divider I just cut off the corners at a 45 degree angle. For the sides I first cut off what I didn't want at an angle (on the left in the photo) and then finished the shaping with my craft knife (on the right in the photo). After the glue was dry I shaped the sides with a file to continue the angle of the back and divider as you can see in the first photo.

Showing the letter holder on the desk in the study.

Have a great week everyone

Friday, January 18, 2013

Miniature chairs

Just a short post today, I wanted to share this link to a blog featuring the work of second year students in interior design from the Philippines, they made miniature chairs from all time periods, no scale is mentioned anywhere, enjoy.

I posted a photo of my Boston Queen Anne chair, just to make sure you don't miss this post.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Dome Topped Casket

I finished the first dome topped casket last week and it is already safely in New York with its new owner. South Africa's shipping costs are quite high and lately DHL, a worldwide courier has dropped their prices here that makes it an affordable option. I love the fact that I can track the parcel through each airport on their website, I posted this one on Wednesday morning, it departed Johannesburg on Wednesday evening, arrived in London the next morning, went to Germany on Thursday evening (I think the planes to the USA from London was full), arrived in New York at 7:15 am on Friday morning and was delivered just before noon. Pretty good I think, I wonder if the casket enjoyed its world trip ;-)

Here you can see the casket all closed up, it is 30mm (1 3/16") wide by 36mm (1 7/16") high.

With the top lid open, they loved to put a picture front to back in this tiny compartment, it would then reflect the right way in the mirrors. The caskets were generally stitched by girls between the ages of 12 to 15 and it definitely had a play factor to it too.

With the second lid open too, getting it to stay like this is a fine balancing act :-)

View from the front.

The top compartment reflecting in the mirror of the domed lid.

With the sliding panel, ink tray and pincushion out.

And with all the little drawers out.

It is going to take a few months to do the stitching, having the final dimensions of the casket, I sat over the weekend and worked out the total amount of stitches needed to cover the casket, around a whopping 46000 stitches, WOW! I worked out that it takes me about an hour to stitch a 160 stitches, so that means a total of about 290 hours of stitching time. I can only stitch about two hours a day on this fine count, I don't want to over strain my eyes, so I have had to accept that getting to a finished casket is going to take longer than I thought, so what else is new, I really should know that by this time, as every project so far has taken longer than I thought it would. Now if only I could add another 8 hours to my day, maybe things would work out in real as in my mind:-)

I have started the back panel of the casket right next to the side panel, I will just fold it at the corners of the casket. I think that one long strip will be easier to handle than three tiny pieces of stitching, the empty space between the panels will be covered by I think a flat silk ribbon as they used flat tapes way back in the 17th century. My casket is based on this one in the MET museum and tells the Bible story of Joseph, the panel on the left shows Joseph with his aged and dying father Jacob, Joseph promised Jacob to take him out of Egypt and bury him with his forefathers and I think this is what is happening in this scene. The back panel shows Joseph running away from Potiphar's wife and Joseph then in prison with Pharoah's chief baker and wine taster. You can find the story of Joseph in the last few chapters of Genesis, I went and read it again to figure out which part of the story each panel depicts.

Have a wonderful week everyone