Wednesday, July 27, 2011

GS: Pile o' waxes

I am so close to finally being done in the shop that I can almost taste it! I have 2 last waxes to carve and a bunch of things finish & to set stones in... but I am so damn close! Which is good since gold hit $1625 and I can scrap out what I have left kicking around the shop. And soon the shop will be in boxes & I can easily say no without the guilt of thinking "Well, what will one more job hurt?"

The only problem now is that I don't know what I'm going to be when I grow up. Never thought I would be 35, still paying student loans from my last round of college & wondering what to do next. If anybody has any thoughts, let me know!

Monday, July 18, 2011

ME: The FINAL chair photos!

Okay! No more dilly dallying! The final chairs!

We started with this goldenrod yellow beauty at the local Goodwill...

... stripped it down to this...

... and built it back up to THIS...

We took a 1950's nightmare (with incredibly itchy and possibly highly flammable fabric covered w/ stains, springs popping out, etc) and ended with a fully restored French Country style complimentary pair of slipper chairs. If you want to see the entire process again, take a look at these blog posts...

1. Changing Things Up
2. Breaking it DOWN
3. One of These Things is Not Like the Other
4. The Eight Way Tie
5. Finally Starting to Look Like a Chair
6. Building it Back Up

The reason I decided to make them complimentary was because (if you remember from this post) once I stripped them I realized that the didn't quite match. I decided to go with my gut and make them similar but with slight differences because I knew I could never force them to be identical, no matter how hard I tried. And while others may not see the differences, I would and it would drive me out of my mind. Plus it gave me an opportunity to be slightly more creative and play around with the design a bit. I have caught a bit of flak from somebody who is in the decorative business and thought my choice was poor because you could have put them on 2 different sides of a room and never seen the difference. But the choice was mine, so I decided to go the more creative and playful route.

So... were they worth the wait? You tell me!

Now, the difficult part, I think it's time they find a home that's not mine. Just know, I did not set out to restore these chair with the intention of selling them. But one of the first things you learn in art school is to disconnect from your work so you are able to sell it. And from years of making custom jewelry, apparently I got really good at enjoying the point when I hand something off to its new owners. And while I loved the process of restoring and upholstering these chairs, I feel like they will make somebody out there really happy. And when my work brings somebody joy, well, it makes all the time and effort worth it.

How am I going to sell them? Hmmm, not sure. Etsy? Maybe. SoWa market? Maybe if a friend will let me put them in their booth for a day. But for now, let's see if anybody here would want a pair of French Country Slipper Back Chairs. If you want any information, drop me a note at the Green Spot Studio Contact page. I would prefer not to break up the set, but if somebody really only wants one, I am willing to talk.

Now, I am taking another upholstery class and this time I will most definitely be keeping the chair. The reason, because it was my Grandpa Bonfiglioli's chair. But that is a post for a later date.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

ME: Building it Back Up

For those who have been wondering (and those who have been asking) the chair has been done for a while. Actually, both the chairs are finished. I just needed to take the time and set the scene to get some nice photos of it. And if you have ever seen my apartment, you know (1) I have very few empty walls, (2) very few walls that are straight [since we're basically in an attic] (3) horrible lighting (4) and more clutter than you can imagine [that's what happens when you have 2 people living in a very small space that has more hobbies than you can count.] And I finally did that this past weekend. But those are not the photos I'm going to share today... I want to show the final stages of building it back up! And I don't want to drag this out anymore... so we'll just plow right through this!

So, if you remember, we had a chair covered in muslin. Now it's time to show how we added the final fabric. We started with the seat...

And with some sewing, tucking, tacking and stapling we have a covered seat (I also added a little kick pleat skirt, but that came later)...

And then we moved onto the chair back...

And added some lovely "sunflower" details to enhance the slight curve of the slipper back...

Then I cut the back panel and used multiple methods to attach it including staples, hand stitching and ply-grip...

And finally, the the cambric (dust cover) on the bottom of the chair...

And I know at this point you are dying to see the final product. Well, tough... you'll have to wait till tomorrow. OH... THE ANTICIPATION!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

GS: Ring of Fire

I feel like such a slacker for not posting for a whole month... but I have actually been getting a good amount of work done. A good amount of the pieces are repeats, but there were a few new designs.

I had some clients come to me and told me how a friend described their relationship as a "Ring of Fire" and wanted to have that reflect in their wedding bands. We went through multiple versions from very bold and literal but ended up with something much more subtle.

The design I came up with had the literal flames but hidden inside of a classic scroll pattern to create a whimsical design.

And the final piece was 2 tone 14K Red and Yellow (to give it the coppery warm glow) with a hand engraved pattern...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

GS: Just when I thought I was out...

They pull me back in (said with clenched fists.)

That famous line from the Godfather couldn't be more true in my life right now. The past couple of months I have been working on closing my custom jewelry business (which I am referring to as a "Sabbatical" because hopefully some day I will open the shop again) and it has proven to be way more work than I would ever have imagined. And I'm finding it mentally exhausting (hence no blog posts.)

I put an end date of May for taking any new custom jobs and I have been very good about sticking to that with strangers... but I'm a sucker for my friends. Give me a sob story, tell me you love my work, tell me that you can't imagine getting your wedding bands from anybody but me, and I'll give in. And while I hesitantly say yes, and love you dearly, it pretty much sucks.

It took so damn long to come to the conclusion that I was taking this sabbatical, that I really want to be done in the shop. I want to move onto the next chapter... whatever that may be... and I'm currently stuck in a horribly messy shop limbo. Honestly, I think it's more work attempting to close the shop than it was trying to keep it open!

But I finally took my ABSOLUTE LAST JOB! And I had a fabulous past client (who I kept as a friend) come to me begging for an engagement ring for her brother in Trinidad. I first said no... but then the compliments started flying and that damn cute accent and my head started spinning and before I knew it, I said yes to ONE LAST JOB. I did set some ground rules though, I show a few designs I had tucked away in my book (for a rainy day) and whichever is the right direction, I can just go ahead and build.

So... the end is in sight. There is a light shining at the end of the tunnel. Still don't know what's on the other side, but I can't wait to find out!
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