In-Depth Post Number Four

So tonight was the first night I actually did any restoration work. It was actually more fun that I ever thought it could be. It was rewarding and relaxing, and I felt like I made really fantastic progress. Rather than walking you through the process, I will be showing a bunch of photos I took tonight.

The first stage, a plain table painted in off-white.

Pictured: Furniture stripper and steel wool 

After applying stripper, I got to work scraping the paint off, which peeled away quite easily once the stripper did it’s job.

Puttin’ in that work


Getting close to scraping the top coat of paint off!

Finished the top, this is just the natural, untreated wood plus the white legs.

Onto the more criteria stuff:

I’m learning a lot about restoration. There are lots of small questions I had along the process and many of them are not detailed in any guides. Having a mentor who knows a lot about the process is very helpful for any small, less fundamental questions I have about this topic. These were also the questions I asked to check on facts and details.

I am always open to anything Karla tells me. I am seriously uneducated in this field, and like I said before I consider her advice as very very good and correct.

Some of the alternative viewpoints I saw were mostly just ways that Karla did things that I didn’t quite expect. For example, I didn’t realize that paint stripper worked exactly the way it does. It lifts and loosens the paint so that you could scrape it away.

So far the values that Karla and I have have been quite similar. Beyond our restoration relationship we get alone quite well in my opinion. It’s a good relationship, and I am having a very rewarding experience so far.

In-Depth – Hour 672

My project is fairly underway this week. I met with Karla last week, and we discussed my goals and what I kind of foresee myself doing in this product. She answered a lot of my questions, surprising me sometimes too. I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that she rarely works more than a weekend on a project. I think that this will make the project a lot more compartmentalized and easy to do in conjunction with my other responsibilities this coming semester.

I have been looking online and have been trying to figure out a relatively easy first project. A table of some kind is what I have in mind at the moment, however I need to visit thrift stores and other resources in the area soon and look around for an actual item to restore.

I have already found myself talking about restoration a decent amount with people who know very little about it. For all the stress that the research essay on the topic put on to me, I must admit it gave me a good baseline knowledge base. It also armed me with something to discuss with Karla, while still showing that I have plenty of room to learn. In regards to our last meeting, I thought that I successfully implemented De Bono’s three objectives in a conversation, although I wouldn’t say I had an agenda in the matter. We very much reached agreement,  we worked a plan out together and I am already on the way to implementing the first ‘phase’ of it. We had some points of difference, however I very much consider myself the knowledgeably inferior one in this relationship, so I am going by what Karla says for the most part. This may change when I am more experienced in restoration, but for the moment I am content with it. Our time together was very interesting, our conversation was effective and all my questions were answered. I hope that our next meeting will be just as effective as our last one.

This is all I have for now, I’ll be back in 336 hours.

In-Depth Introductory Post

Last year, my in-depth project, spoken word poetry, was wildly successful in my opinion. Hopefully, I can replicate that success with my in-depth topic this year, restoration.

Specifically, I want to restore furniture and other home items, hopefully I will be procuring these items from friends, family or otherwise at garage sales and other such places. Through the help of my mentor, I will go through the steps necessary to restore a piece on a case-by-case basis. If this item is something I intend to keep and is not belonging to another person,  I may add my own touches to it, which will probably be all aesthetic. When this is over, I will return the item to it’s owner, however I will be taking before and after pictures of the item and keep a record of who it’s from for potential use in my learning center.

I wanted to do restoration because most of what I do is performance and art based. My passions and primary interests are theater, spoken word poetry (last year’s in-depth really worked out for me) etc. so this year I’d like to do something entirely new. I will be working with my hands mostly, which is something I don’t really do all that much. I’m not sure, if like in poetry, if I will carry on doing this after the project has ended, but I think it should be fun and interesting for the duration of the project.

My needs for this project will be a lot of careful guidance from my mentor, as I know very little about restoration currently. I will also need a good flow of items to restore, one every two weeks or so.

My mentor for this project is Kharla Thompson-MacDonald, (otherwise known as Emma MacDonald’s mom!) I still need to meet with her, however she has committed to mentoring me and we will sort out logistics in our first meeting.

Finally, as I said before I will be trying to restore one piece every week or so, depending on the size of the item.

I am looking forward to getting to work!