Monday, April 18, 2011

Armoire Transformation



The seed for this armoire came when I was looking at a book of Eliot Porter photographs. The horses were painted in white onto a pair of doors. The closets Daniel built make an armoire superfluous, so it was time to move this piece along, as much as I adore the hinges.



I started by wood burning the horses, and then it became a commission for a girl's room. It struck me as more of a living room piece at that point, too old for a teen. The horses almost reminded me of Scandinavian dala horses, which may have germinated the idea for flowers.



I wanted a folk art feel, a pattern and texture to make the piece more youthful. I didn't want it to be strictly symmetrical, so I devised a few flowers to fill the space in harmony without symmetry.



I used vine charcoal to lightly sketch on the flowers, using the knots in the wood as some of the floral centers. The advantage of vine charcoal over many other utensils is that it erases with a swipe of the hand and has a loose freedom to it. If I were going for precision, I would trace with graphite or wax paper as I did on the horses.



For texture, I burned the flowers in so deeply you could take a rubbing from them. I followed the burning with a good cleaning with wood oil soap and a swipe with lemon oil. The lemon oil removed any last traces of charcoal and graphite as well as leaving the wood rich and healthy.
This took about 3 months to complete, mostly because Thacia had to be napping before I could burn, and I was so tired because of pregnancy that I needed to nap at the same time!

1 comment:

LaughingLioness said...

Gorgeous! Just lovely, as always.

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