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Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Little Ones

I came across this photo today and thought I'd put it up because I think it's awesome. Jasper is moving into his fourth week at the moment and Big Sister Aurora loves every bit of him. I'm glad that they are two years apart and hope that her interest in him continues on as they get older. Aurora's birthday was on the 29th of January and I wanted to build her something that she could grow with. My father's influence as a wood worker has definitely rubbed off on me and have enjoyed coming to understand the process. I have also been interested in Shaker handcraft and Shaker objects for some time and they have influenced my pots greatly over the last ten years, so I bought a Shaker toddlers chair from Shaker Workshop to put together for her birthday. Basically they are still fabricating furniture in the process, materials and style of shaker furniture from the 1900's and you can purchase the furniture finished, or in my case buy the parts unassembled and put the piece together myself. This was nice because now I have had a hand in finishing the chair that Aurora hopefully can give to her kids.

So the chair is Hard Maple with three coats of a light oil based stain with just a touch of cherry stain in it to give a hint of color. It actually came out quite nice as it almost looks old and well loved already. I then knocked down the grain with super fine steel wool and applied the first coat of a traditional linseed oil finish. I applied three coats of that, wiping everything down after about ten minuets of staying on the surface, until a nice soft satin surface began to develop. Then two layers of hand rubbed paste wax was applied to give a nice hard but non plastic surface that would withstand all of the various food that it would come in contact with. The seat is a traditional Shaker woven seat in a blue and white herringbone pattern. This took a bit of trial and error to get right, but it's tight as a drum and comfy for Aurora to sit on. She loves it and it makes me happy to know that she will have it for years. Now I just need six or eight adult Shaker chairs for the dining room to match and we'll be all set.

1 comment:

  1. JD.... the little ones are adorable. What a sweet pic. What a beautiful chair! As Nadia is getting bigger I have been thinking about a toddler chair for her... and moving her out of the antique high chair we have, in order to allow some time between her using it and Milo needing it. Yours is a nice inspiration! (I cannot imagine having the time to put as many coats on it as you did... we did floors that way in our old house before Nadia was born, when the big kids were at their dads... now I have three dresser/bureaus in various states of refinish. Oh well!)