Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Barley Twist and Hand woven European Grainsack Chair

   Any time an antique piece of furniture is painted there are many naysayers who are horrified.  I believe this chair is from the turn of the century.  It does have screws in the braces underneath but I do not think they are original to the chair.  Everywhere else the chair has pegs holding it together.  This originally had a caned seat and back.  This is where we get into whether to try to restore a piece or would it be acceptable to change it.  This is the condition of the caning and finish.

    Hours and hours of stripping and sanding revealed a still uneven tone to the wood and very deep grain.  I would have preferred to restore this piece but it was just not possible to do so and also have a chair that most people would want in their home.  I have seen some people with strong negative reactions to antiques.  They had a relative that had a houseful, and many times the furniture was dark, dirty, and untouched for fear that it would damage the value.  I found refinishing addressed with reactions from some of the experts from Antique Roadshow http://www.refinishwizard.com/refinishing_antiques.html
To be honest it does not cover painting the piece.  Most of us, though, will never encounter a craftsman made piece that is several hundred years old.  The question is whether to let a very nice piece of furniture continue to rot away in a barn, or whether to turn it into something someone would want.  This chair was painted with Rustoleum Chalked Paint in Linen.  I replaced the cane with upholstery webbing, and foam.  I wanted this to be a statement type piece.  I used handwoven linen European grain sack fabric, 60 to 100 years old upholster it with.   I made double welted piping to trim the seat but used a different type of trim for the seat back, because the double welt was too bulky.  I feel like this lovely old Barley Twist chair has a crisp, clean, pretty new look.

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