This is what I'm working on. I am soothed by the silence my house offers ... sorta silent ... the music I'm choosing is cranked up. I'm listening to the stuff that takes me to church.
Picked up this pair (yeah, there are two of them) of chairs in Texas and brought them over here. I didn't really need another "project" ... there are two big chairs in the line up out in my garage (where the car should be) ... and truthfully, though I'm trying to pretend it's not so, two of my girls have chairs out there waiting on me too.
I was attracted to the lines on this classic dining room chair. Both seem to be solid ... desperate for some TLC, but worthy of the time and expense of cleaning them up. I'm not a fan of the synthetic fiber that they were last draped in. It's been dirty work pulling out the cheap staples that hold the veneer, top coat, what meets the eye, in place. It's actually pretty gross prepping these things for "better". There was a good bit of "icky" which had slid down between the folds where vacuum cleaning nozzles should go as often as possible. Basically ... avoidable filth. It doesn't look that bad in the picture does it? I was surprised (and delighted) to find horsehair trying to work its way out where the burlap sags, brittle with age. The springs, manufactured when metal was still really metal, are in great shape. Practically everything else needs to be reinvigorated. I don't know how old the chairs are. I don't know where they have been or who has sat in them. I can tell that the last person who worked on them hurried through leaving a trail of nails rusting in place. As I gently work them out I wonder if it might be best to leave them alone ... the scars will always be there ... little holes compromise the structure of the wood ... you can't "unnail".
(I'm remembering this story:
There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.
The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.
Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.
The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.”
The little boy then understood how powerful his words were. He looked up at his father and said, “I hope you can forgive me father for the holes I put in you.”
“Of course I can,” said the father.)
Not sure what to do about that right now. The nail holes probably aren't the worst of it but I'm confident about how to repair the rest of the messes. I guess that's part of why working on this sort of thing is therapeutic for me. I can fix this ... these. It's a lot worse then it looks at first glance but once the update is done they'll be good serviceable pieces again ... they'll do what chairs are supposed to do and I'm certain that I will be delighted with the results ... useful art. I think I'm going to take the time to "pour some love" in to those oowie spots. I know what I have in mind for them. And it's gonna be fun to get them there.