Thursday, July 31, 2014
This was without a doubt a very fulfilling project for me for a number of reason. I had the opportunity to build some beautiful furniture and even get into iron work, but once again it fascinates me how connected we are in this little town. You see, Thomas Staniforth, my ancestor who built that house didn't just live there. he litterally built it. He was a contractor and he used his home as his showplace for potential customers to see what all he could do. Each room is different with different millwork and different paint schemes. I relate so well to this because I do the same thing 170 years later. I don't build houses, but I do build furniture and I do use my home as my showroom because it is filled with furniture I have built. It was William Faulkner who said "The past isn't dead. It isn't even past."
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Sunday, March 25, 2012
My job is one that allows me to wake up and do something different every day. When a client brought me this chival mirror, the job was simple enough. Fix the foot, wax it and deliver it. As is usually the case with antiques, it wasn't that simple. The mirror of this particular piece is counter weighted so that it can be raised up and down as required by the user to see what needs to be seen from different angles, but when I tried to raise the mirror, it wouldn't budge so I laid it down on its back and began to investigate. Three hours later, I finally got the lead weights out of the supports and found that they had corrupted and expanded within the cavities of the supports thence disallowing them to move. It was at this point that I began the process of learning how to melt and cast lead. Really, there is nothing to it. Lead melts at a very low heat, after it melts, there is a slag that must be skimmed off the top and then it is poured into a mold. Like I say, nothing to it, but for someone who has never poured molten metal, it is slightly scary. I made a mold using Durhams Rock Hard putty, bought a cast iron skillet to use for a crucible, set up my fish cooker in the yard and got to work. At first I wasn't sure it was going to work. After breaking up the original lead weights and placing the parts in the skillet, they just sat there as the flames heated my now tainted iron skillet, but sort of all at the same time, the lead just began to turn to liquid and then it only took a minute or so for it to all turn to a pot of shiny melted metal. At that point, I skimmed off the slag, and as they say, the rest is history. I let the metal cool for the rest of the day and then broke the mold the next day and shaved down the irregularities as shown in these pictures, then I drilled holes in the top of each weight, strung sash cord, attached them to the mirror and voila! It was done.
There is always something new and interesting to learn in this business.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
This cabinet was designed to serve as a bar that could hold bottles, and glasses. Its primary wood is mahogany with poplar secondary woods and is veneered in quarter sawn mahogany veneer, and contrasting satinwood. Its apron is a design that is as delicate and beautiful as any I have ever seen. The upper shelf is held up by antique brass supports and has a mirrored back.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
This small piece is the classic design for a side table. It is made of solid cherry that was milled in Natchez and has antique pine secondary wood. Though not visable in this photograph, the top has a particularly beautiful figured grain.
This writing desk was built around three period turned legs. The fourth had to be turned to match the period legs and reproduction casters were added. The drawers are banded in holly and are assembled using hand cut dovetails. The entire piece is mahogany with antique yellow pine for secondary woods. The inset leather top has a double row band of gold around its perimeter.
Friday, August 7, 2009
This shadow box was built for a local customer to house a sword that is a family heirloom. Its design is inspired by mirrors of the chipendale period and it is lined in felt the color of many Confederate uniforms. The face of the shadow box is hinged and has a latch on one side to allow access to the interior.
Designed to fit this spacific wall, this corner cabinet is typical of early Natchez design. Each of the top doors is divided by eight panes of antique glass. The bottom section is divided by a single shelf and it is being used to store silver, the interior is lined with pacific cloth to assist in tarnish resistance.
Built to be a top of the line dining room piece, this china press is second to none in my portfolio. Mahogany with mahogany veneer and poplar secondary woods, this piece has glass doors with a gothic influence and antique glass panes. the drawers are veneered in bookmatched crotch mahogany and cross banded in quarter sawn mahogany veneer. The cornice has five tablets that are also veneered in crotch veneer and each is also crossbanded in quarter sawn wood. The shelves are adjustable and each drawer is lined in pacific cloth and divided for silver storage.
Friday, July 31, 2009
This is a miniature bookcase built for a local client who collects miniature books. Its dimensions are 27" tall, 17" wide and 3.75" deep. Primary wood is mahogany with secondary wood of antique pine. It is finished with shellac and wax and is fitted with antique glass. Its proportions are spot on.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
This cherry and mahogany huntboard was inspired by a period cypress piece that was built in Amite County, Mississippi. The original was much less refined, but had this same interesting arched shelf below the drawers. When I designed this one I used bookmatched mahogany veneer on the drawer fronts and I bookmatched veneer on the arch below as well. The carcass is of southern cherry and the top is Mahogany. All Secondary woods are antique yellow pine.
This table was designed for a narrow space that is used as a breakfast room. When not in use, or being used by a small number of people, the leaves are folded on top of the table, but when more people will be sitting at the table, the leaves open and are supported by lopers that are hidden within the structure of the base. It is built of solid antique pine.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
This stool is one of th first things I built. It is designed around four antique feet of poplar. the wooden banding at the bottom is antique cherry and it is upholstered in charcoal colored leather with brass nails. It has a hinged lid and a well inside for storage. The bottom of the box is made of cedar.
This Hepplewhite bed is designed around the two antique foot posts which are turned and reeded with acanthus leaf carvings at the top of the posts just below the candle. The headboard has a melon shape and the head posts are square tapers. The rails are all mahogany and are double bolted and are bracketed.
This is a cypress wardrobe built to house kitchen supplies. It was designed around a pair of antique cypress doors. The carcass, base and cornice are all built from antiuqe cypress that was milled to look as close to the doors as possible. It was then all dyed and shellaced to match.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
This is a scaled down replica of a cherry bookcase that is found in the collection at Melrose, the home owned by the National Park service here in Natchez. Oral tradition holds that it originally came from Concord, a late 18th century home that burned in about 1900. It is built with primary wood of cherry and secondary wood of antique cypress. It sits on delicately turned legs and has hand dovetailed drawers.
This Mahogany server was designed to fit a spacific space between the two windows seen in this picture. It has delicately turned and reeded legs with a drawer front and doors that have been cross banded in mahogany and veneered in an oposing wood of Avadire. The secondary wood is antique yellow pine.