\"Distressing\" furniture

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DanEpps
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Postby DanEpps » Wed, Jul 12 2006, 2:24PM

Believe it or not, the gold is very durable after the size has compleye cured. When you see gold covered objects outdoors in France or Italy, they are gilded using exactly the same technique I used--oil gilding.

For indoor projects that don't need to be as durable as furniture (picture frames, etc), water gilding is preferred. It is far more involved, starting with gesso which is then covered with a fine grained linen canvas and more gesso. This gets covered with a clay \"bole\", traditionally red, which is smoothed to the desired shape. Once everything has dried, it is dampened with a rabbit hide glue size and the gold leaf is applied. This type of gold leaf is loose--not adhered to the tissue like I used. You have to pick it up with a squirrel hair gilder's tip. Too much coffee and you destroy the leaf!

After you lay the leaf you use a burnishing tip made from agate and shaped like a dog's tooth to polish the clay bole underneath the leaf. It takes a very light touch to keep from breaking through the leaf at this point.

Can you guess why I chose oil gilding?

As for the maker's mark, I had thought about maybe putting a plastic envelope with a photo of it on the back or bottom of the sofa--sort of like you see in furniture stores for price tags. I do think that adds to the interest of the piece.

I told my wife one day that I feel like fate has chosen us to be caretakers of this sofa and help it recover from the mistreatment it had suffered in the past. Hopefully monsieur F.G. can now turn back over in his grave, knowing that at least one piece of his furniture is in good hands for as long as this family exists.

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DanEpps
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Postby DanEpps » Wed, Oct 10 2007, 11:26AM

I never posted a picture of the finished sofa, so here it is. We use it as our \"everyday\" sofa in the living room.

The first picture is your's truly upholstering the sofa.

Thanks for everyone's kind words about this project. It truly was fun and very fulfilling.
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Rick Palechuk
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Postby Rick Palechuk » Wed, Oct 10 2007, 2:43PM

Nice work Dan! You must be very proud of your accomplishment.

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Postby Michael S Murray » Thu, Oct 11 2007, 7:27AM

Awsome Dan,
Did you keep track of your hours on that?
Probably more then 2 or 3..........
Very Nice.
Mike Murray
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DanEpps
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Re:

Postby DanEpps » Thu, Oct 11 2007, 12:01PM

Michael S Murray wrote:Awsome Dan,
Did you keep track of your hours on that?
Probably more then 2 or 3..........
Very Nice.


Ummm...good guess :wink:

I probably have 200+ hours in it, most of it seemed to be trying to get the pattern on the fabric straight :lol:

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Jody Wilmes
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Postby Jody Wilmes » Thu, Oct 11 2007, 12:08PM

Absolutely beautiful work! Outstanding!
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Peter Walsh
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Postby Peter Walsh » Fri, Oct 12 2007, 11:37AM

Dan,
This looks like a real find and a fun project.
What would the thickness been of the original gold leafing? I suspect they couldn't roll it as thin as we now do.
Did you have any idea of how old the piece was when you first saw it offered for sale? What do you think the finished value is likely to be?
regards,

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Peter Walsh
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Postby Peter Walsh » Fri, Oct 12 2007, 11:39AM

Dan,
One more question.......\"Thermwood dusty wax\"??? What is that?
regards,

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DanEpps
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Postby DanEpps » Fri, Oct 12 2007, 1:12PM

I'm not sure how thick (thin?) gold leaf was in those days but it still made pretty much in the same way. It is rolled until it is 1/825 of an inch (1/33mm) thick. It is then cut into pieces 1-1/4 inch square and stacked with vellum between the pieces. Then it is hammered to the final thickness.

Before the beating machines (hammers) were invented, gold beaters used hammers that weighed either 6 or 12kg in four hour shifts!

When I bought the sofa I thought it was from the 1780s so it wasn't a lot older than what I thought. As for the value--I don't know but I have seen similar restored pieces go for upwards of $50,000. I know I certainly like the price I paid much better.

Thermwood dusty wax is a clear glaze that dries to a milky color and looks like old, dusty wax. I don't think they carry it any more and just happened to have some in house. I tried it but as it turned out, this piece didn't really have any areas that I could use it. You just put it on (I brushed it on) and after it dries, wipe off what you don't want. It stays in the crevices and adds a lot of age to it. It is a lot like liming wax in the end result.

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Postby DaleKern » Fri, Oct 12 2007, 1:58PM

Dan,

Incredible job! Beautful work. I want to see the sofa, and you, on Antiques Roadshow. How high will you jump if they tell you $50k? Great job.

Dale
I have no business being in this business...

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DanEpps
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Re:

Postby DanEpps » Fri, Oct 12 2007, 5:46PM

DaleKern wrote:Dan,

Incredible job! Beautful work. I want to see the sofa, and you, on Antiques Roadshow. How high will you jump if they tell you $50k? Great job.

Dale


Believe it or not, this is our everyday sofa in the living room. I would never sell it, no matter what the price...well, maybe if someone offered $1,000,000 or so :lol:

Thanks to everyone for the kind words...this project was a lot of fun and a great learning experience. I've done another one since then and have a couple more waiting in the wings. None of those are near the piece of furniture this is though.

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Mitch Cain
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Postby Mitch Cain » Mon, Oct 15 2007, 9:09AM

Outstanding work, Dan...
Black Bear Custom Cabinetry


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