Sunday, May 21, 2006

Trash to treasure #1

Elsie cringed when I brought home another piece of urban jetsam a few months back and I couldn't say I was surprised. Although it had nice form, the lamp was covered in thick bumpy dreck that kept the lamp's charms very hidden.

I was in the basement this weekend, just minding my own business, when this sideshow Elephant Lamp jumped out at me again.

We have a lot of love to go around at the Deluxe house. But we do have a few projects going and I shouldn't have started another. But I had an intuition - What if that alligatoring was shellac?

Shellac has been on my mind. I'm talking shellac to anybody who'll listen. Shellac is running for mayor of Deluxetown and shellac wants you to look into your heart and see if you are the kind of person you want to be and shellac laughs at all your old jokes. Elsie has been threatening to call me shellacboy and I cannot deny the name. Yes, you will be reading more about shellac in future posts.

I knew that If the alligatoring was shellac, I could simply wipe away that evil finish. I could wipe out evil, with an alcohol-soaked rag.

I did it and you can too.

Show and tell time!

Consider the original state of the lamp.

Note the pronounced bumps and darkness that envelops it.I understand why someone pitched it. It is a mess.

Here I have gently wiped the entire face a few times and then a small area with denatured alcohol for two or three minutes. Interesting!

Here's a look at a nearly finished face of the lamp base. After rubbing off the finish, I lightly sanded with 320 grit paper.

I really like it now. I'm glad it isn't in the landfill.

I wondered as I worked about the maker, some talented amateur I imagine. I wonder about the finishing disaster - did it happen slowly or soon after the piece was done?

The figuring of the veneer is quite charming and the workmanship is tasteful. What happened to the finish? When it all went wrong, was the lamp disowned and stuck in a corner out of shame?

It might not have happened this way, but I feel like I have unbroken a heart. And that is what I needed to feel today.

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