Eyeballs, Meet Alligators

For many, many moons I have been restoring tortoiseshell boxes for one particular client, with whom I have become a good friend over the many years. Lately I have been on the home stretch for a group of boxes on which I have been working for a very long time. One complex tea caddy in particular has kicked by behind in every way a project can fight you. I cannot recall ever having such a troublesome project in my nearly fifty years in the trade. I took on that project thinking it was a straightforward one, bidding it at 20 hours of work. By the time I finished I was well up over 300 hours (I just quit counting a long time ago).

As Bob Ueker might say, “Just a bit outside.”

Still it has been a fascinating learning experience as literally everything that could go wrong has gone wrong, and by the time I finished it I had removed and re-adhered literally every single piece of tortoiseshell veneer on the box, and fabricated numerous pieces of “tordonshell” for the places where the tortoiseshell was missing. I developed several new techniques for tortoiseshell conservation during the time spent with this project, and look forward to the next one.

I will surely blog about these projects at length once I get past them a fair distance.

Between this and some travel, the teasing days of spring drawing us to work outside yet interspersed with the tenacious winter weather, really knuckling down to wrap up the manuscript for A Period Finisher’s Manual, and an article for American Period Furniture I have been up to my eyes in alligators for many weeks and I’ve been slacking on my blogging lately. I’m hoping that gets back to normal very soon.

PS – I still have not figured out how to use this !@#$*&^#$ new and “improved” WordPress template to include videos. I’ve got the next five in the Veneer Repair video series ready to go, but thus far the new stinking template remains obscured to me. I truly detest platform designers improving something that was working perfectly before, all because the idiocracy wants some new look. I get new clothes every other decade, and want my compewder programs to be updated as frequently.