Friday, April 13, 2012

More of the SAPFM at the CHS

“Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

Anton Chekhov

Here are some more attic pieces at the CHS (Conneticut Historical Museum).  Here is a beautiful bowfront dresser.  When I go to pick up my chair in September, I want to get measures of this dresser and the two C-arm chairs in my last blog.  I like high boys and all the veneering but have no place for that furniture in my house.

A couple of Heart Back chairs below, amazing work.  Below are two more, one an antique and one the reproduction from that piece.  I'm not sure who the modern builder is, nice chair though.

A beautiful pie crust tea table.  I could not imagine doing this without a router to hog out the waste in the middle.

In the lecture hall, they had a very nice display of antique tavern signs.  

Here are more current pieces that were selected for the show.  

The two aforementioned heart back chairs.  I think this one was in Fine Woodworking not too long ago.  Speaking of which, I met Mark Schofield at the show and he took a picture of me with my chair. 
And like an idiot I didn't get a picture of my chair.

This museum trip was like the first lesson I received on the way to my English don't tell (what's the other lesson Wilson?).   By going to this fantastic museum ( or any museum for that matter) you are shown the pieces of furniture or art or whatever, not told about them thru books or another's idea of them.  Go to the places and see them with your own eyes and feel with your own heart what others will try to tell you.  

Saturday, April 7, 2012

SAPFM Gallery Show at CHS

Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind.

Johannes Brahms 

As some of you may be aware I had a chair selected for a gallery show at the Connecticut Historical Society  in Hartford.  The show was sponsored and presented by the SAPFM.  Needless to say, I was surprised and honored and very excited to go.

The museum is housed at the Veeder Mansion in Hartford, at the edge of the University of Hartford.  The house/museum is spectacular, built in the 1920's and finished mostly in Mission Style, above you can see the quarter-sawn white oak panels in what was the library.  Mr. Veeder invented the mechanical counter and had a factory not too far from the house, where it remains to this day.

Here you can see the counter he invented,  that's where the money came from.  At my old work, we used this to tally the lumber, so this was really cool for me.  Below you can see the linen fold carvings on the molding if you look closely.

Here is a beautiful painting of the Hartford area.  This whole painting was on one wide pine board.

Rich Mallay, the head of collections, was nice enough to let me tag along when they went to the attic to get a piece for a show and I was blown away.  There were racks and racks of Windsor chairs and high boys and tea tables and dressers and anything else you could think of.

The Windsor below was made by Ebenezer Tracey, a fairly well-known and very prodigious chair maker from Bristol, Conn.  He built a lot of chairs, and I was thrilled to see a writing arm of his. 

Another view, note the leg cut-outs.

Above you can see the trademark Tracey leg.  Note how the bulb above the birds-beak forms a vase, not the straight you see today, and he also did not have a fillet and birds-beak at the top, he simply ran the vase up in what I think is a very graceful sweep, amazing.   The stretcher is a little different, with a squarish swelling and nodes at the ends.  I'm not sure if this is a typical Tracey feature or not.

A couple of gorgeous,  stunning Continuous Arms.  Look at the turning on the arm posts.  

 I will be doing another post ( or more) on this trip.  Thanks to Rich Malley, and Kyle Sprague and Ben Gammel who work at this wonderful museum.  And another thanks to Mickey Callahan from the SAPFM for putting the show together.  More to come. 

 If you are in the area, or looking for a great trip to take, check out the museum and the show that runs through the summer.