(Actually, I think the city was testing public water system , but it’s odd to see our stream the color of lime jello.)
Since last we spoke,
We had a busy last week. Last Thursday, the shop delivered the Monticello pieces from the January woodworking conference a year ago. It was a rain drenched day. The kind that make sailors miss the open sea. In other words, it was really wet. But, we prevailed and the goods were delivered without any remorse or damage.
We made some alterations from the actual table. We used cherry instead of the original’s mahogany. Jefferson referred to cherry as”the poor man’s mahogany” for its similarity in color and lower cost. With two coats of linseed oil/turpentine, then Beeswax/ Venice turpentine and elbow grease; We also fabricated the book rest that inserts into the 3 small brass plates seen on the front edge of the writing surface. We also left off the short cross bracing attached to the long stretchers. The conclusion was that these were later additions.
The Writing Table Kaare recreated here is not on public display at Monticello presently. The column is similar to one in the parlor so perhaps made in the same shop. The table is mahogany through and through. Kaare wiped down the table with linseed oil/ turpentine, then finished with a couple dozen coats of seedlac.
This urban version of a Campeche chair Bill recreated is a copy of a mahogany original. Our’s is constructed from walnut with beech tack strips to attach the buffalo hide leather.The chair was also wiped with linseed oil/ turps followed with roughly 16 coats of seedlac. I would also like to point out that all those brass tacks you see were hand polished by Bill.
This rustic joiner’s style oak Campeche is a composite of several chairs Mack and Bill studied at Monticello. With the idea towards design, what makes a campeche chair comfortable. Unlike the walnut chair, this one was finished with 3 coats of linseed oil giving a softer reflective surface than seedlac.
If you’re interested in seeing the Monticello pieces, go to http://www.monticello.org and either take a virtual tour of the house, go to their collections. Bill and I will be posting additional information about our pieces sometime in the future.
Now that we’ve closed our Thomas Jefferson chapter, we’d like to mention what a great experience it was to work with the Monticello people. Their generosity in allowing us to study these furniture pieces was greatly appreciated. A special thanks to Bob Self and Susan Stein for answering all our question and especially Bob for getting up so early and opening up the house before the guests arrived.