Archive: » 2018 » May

SAPFM Tidewater Chapter Spring Meeting

One of the delightful happenstances in my past was my intersection with the Society of American Period Furniture Makers.  Not only is its annual journal American Period Furniture a premier resource for furniture makers, the fellowship and learning among its members is a balm to the soul and a source of inspiration.  In addition to the national organization there are almost two dozen regional chapters, three of whom can count me as among their company.  Any member to the SAPFM can attend any chapter meeting.  Most chapters meet twice a year, I believe.  If you have any interest in the topics (and I have to assume you do if you read this blog) by all means join SAPFM.  It will be a blessing to you as it is to me.

A couple weekends ago I drove down to Virginia swamp country for the Spring meeting of the Tidewater Chapter, and the program was once again excellent.  There were three primary presenters for this meeting and amazing project updates from a couple more.

The morning started with Ben Hobbs discussion and demonstration of both vintage and contemporary manufactured hardware, everything from fasteners to hinges, handles, and locks.

Like many (most?) of us Ben is loathe to discard anything useful, and given the numbers of furniture pieces that have passed through his shop and under his hands he possesses a large quantity of vintage hardware.

Next came a couple of sessions with this year’s Cartouche Award winner Ray Journigan, focusing on creating and replicating carvings.

He walked us through the entire process, from making the drawings/tracings, through a thin wood pattern, and then the sculpting itself.  It might be a small thing, but I was thrilled to see him model the forms in sculpting clay in advance of addressing the wood, to inform his eyes and hands as to the progression of the carving.

He then walked us through a demonstration of making rubber molds and resin castings of his carvings.  As an old molding-and-casting guy myself I was fascinated.

The final presenter before me was Steve Dietrich a furniture maker in Fredricksburg, Virginia, with an update on the project to recreate George Washington’s boyhood home.  The domicile is being built from scratch based on the archaeological findings on the site, and Steve is one of the folks replicating the furnishings, including several bed frames and a blanket chest.  I believe he is making a half dozen or so pieces.  He rightly describes the project (as a whole) as the undertaking to create a national treasure.  And he is right.

The I took the stage.  Stay tuned.