Summer Reading

The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

Fabritius vinkIt's been a great start to the summer and for this summertime post I'm recommending a book called The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt. It will be great for the beach or whatever you do to disengage for the summer. What does this have to do with furniture, you might ask? For starters, this book was recommended to me by one of my furniture clients this past spring. I admit I'm not an avid fiction reader, but I devoured this 700+ page book in two weeks flat! Yes, I actually take time away from the workbench for pleasure now and again. Well, not completely; furniture does weave its way into the story. The main character, Theo Decker is a boy in New York city that grows into a young man before your eyes and experiences all the trials and tribulations only a good novel can conjure. I'm not going to give anything away here, but a major influence in Theo's development to adulthood comes from a seasoned furniture restorer in New York, who appears through much of the story. The parallels between the maturing of a person and the life of old furniture are fascinating. It includes stories of authenticity, honesty, deceit, and originality; for both the person and the furniture. For a furniture conservator it doesn't get any better than that. Now that I've finished the book I'm back at the bench for the summer with renewed enthusiasm.

Have a good summer and happy reading!

Jon Brandon

Furniture Treasures in Maine: Slide Presentation

Furniture Treasures in Maine:

Who made them?
Where did they come from?
Could they really do that 400 years ago?

To break those mid-winter blues, you are invited to a presentation by furniture conservator, Jon Brandon titled, "Furniture Treasures in Maine." Jon will show examples of some of the most interesting objects he has conserved over the last decade. Objects ranging from the 16th - 20th centuries will be illustrated including pieces by artists who are still living and working in Maine. The talk will highlight the best that Maine cabinetmakers have produced as well as remarkable pieces from away that now reside in Maine.


Free Admission!

Where: Topsham Public Libary, Topsham ME
Date: February 11, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM

Preserving Your Furniture: The 3 Most Important Things You Can Do To Protect Your Furniture

Below are the three most important "Principles of Preservation" that will prolong the life of your furniture. It is interesting to note that by far, the most predominant damage to furniture is caused by poor choices of its caretakers. Once a piece of furniture comes off the cabinetmaker's bench and is handed over to its owner, we are the stewards of that furniture for the rest of its life.

Here are the three "Principles of Preservation."

1. Protect it from direct sunlight - Light can cause dyes to fade; this is true for wood stains and colored textiles. Light also causes degradation of finishes and fabrics: this includes light coming through windows; so close your shades during the sunny part of the day or move the object to a less sunny location.

2. Protect it from moisture and extreme dryness - Water can destroy furniture finishes. Wide swings of relative humidity cause wood to swell and shrink, which in turn can damage veneers. If you are able to, maintain a range of relative humidity of 40% to 60% throughout the year. High humidity levels (above 70%) encourage mold and insect infestations.

3. Use your furniture thoughtfully -- Severe use or misuse brings about extraordinarily rapid damage. Minimization of damage can be accomplished by understanding the limitations and weaknesses of each piece of furniture and using it well within these limitations.

If you follow these basic principles you can avoid having to resort to costly restoration or repair.

Jon Brandon
Furniture Conservator
East Point Conservation Studio

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