There is something beneficial or therapeutic even, about posting works in progress online. Viewing them here somehow helps me to see the areas which need more work or have gone amuck.
My brunette beauty is the feature story with some more updates and reworked areas. (I think) I have finally gotten her proportions correctly aligned and that she no longer looks like she is in mid transformation to a sci-fi creature. I will feel more confident about this statement after I publish this post and see for myself.
After looking at my work for so long, and working specifically or intensely in certain areas, my ability to see my mistakes are skewed. Until I can get away from the piece for a while and look with fresh eyes, the most obvious of mistakes seem to elude me. If I happen to be working under a deadline to complete a work, this generates a lot more stress. I have two favorite artists which I depend on to keep me focussed.
A while back I shared with you the story of this cabinet, which I came to own for free. It was sitting on a back porch of an old house. (which is chock full of old pieces I would love to get my hands on) This cabinet was in pretty rough shape. The drawer bottoms were warped and broken, one in particular was not able to be saved. There were two of the original glass knobs missing, but it still had its original brass keyhole plates, keys long gone I am sure. There were repeated layers of staining which after being exposed to the weather, had turned into a sticky, partially faded and black mess.
I could see sturdiness in this simply designed old cabinet. The hand cut, dovetail detailing in the drawer sides and the smoothly worn top said this piece was well used and loved by someone once. I knew it was certainly not going to be able to be returned to "antique" value after the beating it received from time and weather. But I did see the potential of it becoming functional again.
I started sanding, my original plan was to smooth it out enough that we could paint. After only minimal work, the gorgeous details of the oak began to reappear. I knew this piece could NOT be painted. So, I scraped and I sanded some more. The drawers were repaired with new bottoms attached to the original front and dovetail sides. The third drawer was not repairable, so we cut to insert that holds some baskets and a semi gloss poly coat was applied.
**Note: we were doing this project in the basement. I wore a respirator, because I have asthma and allergies to smells and this helped while I worked. But, I would highly recommend doing the clear coating out doors, the smells wafted up into the house and I spent the day with doors and windows open and exhaust fans running. And of course, wound up using my inhaler.**
These photos were taken after one application. I will lightly sand and apply one, maybe two more coats and call this project finished. I could not wait to show it off a little and get it upstairs, where it will be showcased in the entry nook by the front door, so everyone can admire the beautiful wood color and details.
(I will post pictures again then)