We love bringing old furniture back to life. The layers of history revealed as the piece is broken down are fascinating, and building it back into a piece of art is satisfying work.
Although she works with furniture and not documents, palimpsest is the word that owner and operator, Georgia English, associates with most pieces. The un-layering of past upholstery is a discovery of past upholsterers or crafty housewives and an exploration into methods that predate staple guns and industrial sewing machines. Then there are the crazy things that sofas and chairs like to swallow.
“A piece of Victorian furniture might need springs tied, new webbing, replacement of the edge rolls, and wood restoration before we even start with the fabric.”
“Some of the best fun is seeing what falls out of the sofa as we strip – pocket knives, remote controls, playing cards and change are amongst the most common items.”
After the structure of the furniture is revealed and secured, the new cotton, dacron and eventually fabric go on with the client choosing trim from a large selection of gimp (lace trim) or tacks (everything from antique brass to modern silver flowers) to double welt cord usually made from the same fabric as the body of the piece. The results are small masterpieces.