News-Antique.com - May 06,2009 - Back in the 18th Century, commissioning furniture and decoration was an activity reserved for the privileged few. The process of choosing your Cabinet Maker was an extremely important and cultural exercise, based on fashion and society expectations. Your chosen furniture said everything about you and therefore had to be considered very carefully.
Forward looking and enterprising Designers and Cabinet Makers began to produce Directories of their ideas and designs, from which furniture could be commissioned. Such a work was produced by Thomas Chippendale 1718 – 1779 called “The Gentleman and Cabinet Makers Directory”. Produced in 1754 the principles of Cabinet Making and Design have not changed from that day to this.
Today as then, our homes speak of who we are, they are our own space and far too precious to be filled with throw away objects of no lasting value. Modern infinite choice tempts us with low quality, sometimes unbelievably cheap items. Some can even produce that short term thrill of the purchase, but only pieces that are made to satisfy the soul evoke a positive emotion and are a thing of beauty to be appreciated long into future generations, can truly contribute to our well being and add real long lasting value to our lives. So, how is this accomplished, how do we gain this wonderful feeling of longevity, beauty and satisfaction.
Creating a piece of furniture that is art from scratch is an amazing journey.
First select your Cabinet Maker, ensure his skills and enthusiasm match his desire to produce an exceptional fashion proof classic piece of furniture.
Next be sure of its function, practicality and daily use of a piece provides it with the human patination of life, as it gracefully ages the piece will take on its own appearance and texture.
Next create the design and look of the piece. Infuse your personality into every detail. Take time to remember the shapes and styles you love.
Next choose the timber, colour and finish. A very simplistic piece can be extremely satisfying when all is reliant on the cut and extreme figure of natures beautiful creation, unique and produced over decades. Finally recognized and harnessed by your Cabinet Maker.
Once these elements are blended together and the work begins, you must follow the process through, as would our 18th century forefathers had done. Soak up smells and textures in the Workshop, tweak the design as your piece grows before your very eyes, then watch the French Polisher draw every last drop of colour and character from the wood. Ensure natural reversible materials are used, for these materials are sympathetic to the riggers of life. Materials such as shellac, oil and beeswax nurture the wood and become better, stronger, more beautiful as time passes.
Finally place your treasured piece in pride of place. Look at it every day and remember the amazing journey you undertook to create a piece of furniture like no other, which is beautiful, practical and a true meaningful expression of yourself to be