Tuesday, 24 May 2016


This is Alison throwing a teapot and the lid.... fun!

The finished product... a few steps later...

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Gas Light

The Gaslight

As with all design, there are many factors that make a piece pleasing to the eye. If everything is |"right", the end result often illicits an emotional response. For many of us this manifests itself as that warm fuzzy feeling deep inside. 

The "Gaslight" seems to have this affect on people.

This lighting piece started when we found a very substantial vintage tripod used in the movie industry. By itself, it just screamed potential, but I just couldn't find a light that did it justice. That says a lot as we have any number of vintage lights in our warehouse to choose from...but nothing was quite right. 

The search contiued for well over a year then I remembered an industrial gas light in a friends collection in Northern Idaho. A quick phone call confrmed that she still had it and would consider parting with it. To cut to the chase...by the end of the day this very funky light was in our studio.  

In remarkably good shape for it's age, I replaced the gas parts with modern electrical components and topped it off with a fat "Edison" bulb.  Big, bold and beautiful, this tripod lamp will make a statement in any room.

As always...this is one of a kind and priced right at $799. 

Tuesday, 8 September 2015


Beginning with the final product. These chairs are so fun! 

Here we are at the before... a friend of mine brought me these chairs to see if they could be redone. They have had a long, long history with his wife's family and he wanted to surprise her with a new look for them for her birthday.  Sure - no pressure to make them fabulous or anything! 

He wanted them painted black and the rattan repaired and he left the fabric choice to me - FUN! 

You can see here the rattan is in pretty good shape but there was one spot to repair (you likely can't find it). These chairs were originally manufactured in Czechoslovakia, they are incredibly good quality and a very comfortable design. It was a real pleasure to work with them.

And so I began... took the chair apart and stripped out the rattan. 

Painted the frames all black. I used chalk paint and finished with a hard shiny top coat.

This is the base of the chair before....

I stripped off the old webbing and painted the frame black...

Attached new webbing.  Tight webbing is what makes a seat firm and strong. 

I covered the webbing with fabric... here is the underside. 

Then started on the rattan. 
This was a process I had never done before but it came out fantastic. If I don't know how to do something I research it, buy extra materials and just go for it. I love a good challenge! 

So here is the process: 

  • Roughly cut the rattan to size. 
  • Soak the rattan and spline for 20 minutes in water to soften it, then when it drys it shrinks and gets tight like a drum. 
  • Lay rattan over the piece, make sure it's square (sounds easy right?)
  • Pull excess rows of rattan away so it will easily press down into the groove. (There's a groove.) 
  • Using a wooden wedge work the rattan from the center of each side to the corners in to the groove. 
  • Using a chisel trim away the excess that is on the outside of the groove.
  • Run a bead of glue into the groove. 
  • Fit the soaked spline (this is the piece of wood that holds the rattan in place) into the groove, lightly tap it in with a mallet and when it dries will hold the rattan tight. 
  • Cut the spline on 45 degree angles at the corners.
  • Done. 

Phew - that wasn't so hard. Especially considering the back is curved and the sides are angled... 

They came out perfect if  I do say so. 
I don't have a close up... I was on a deadline, no time for photos!

Both these photos show the process before the trimming and the spline.

Then I put the chairs back together.

I discussed fabric with my client before I got started on this project. His desire was to use these chairs on his covered deck and he has small kids so he wanted something really durable that would handle being outdoors under cover. I suggested outdoor fabric and foam, it's very comfortable but dries quickly and is designed to not fade quickly from sun exposure. 

Although he left the fabric selection up to me I gave him some choices to make sure I was on the right track. He narrowed it down to three very different choices for me and so it was a surprise for him too! 

First I made the piping (the round trim around the edges of the cushions). 
The zippers on the old cushions were superior quality and I knew I wouldn't find anything like them so I stripped them off the old cushions and sewed them onto the new ones. I start with the zipper sides of cushions, this works best for me. 
Then I cut the foam and fit it into the cushions.  

I am really pleased with the end result. The client LOVED them and he was excited to surprise his wife for her birthday with brand new chairs - she didn't even recognize them at first! She loves them. 

If you have a some old furniture around, if it's a good quality frame it's likely worth revitalizing! Even a wiggly frame can be re-glued. You too could have a beautiful surprise!