Saturday, October 5, 2013

Autumn Rocker

A few years ago, I was inspired by the colors and new growth of Spring when building a curved settee and I named it the "Spring Settee". It's still the front page of my website.

Now it's a different season and I suppose that it's no surprise that  I've been  drawn toward the earthy browns and oranges. Here is my latest rocking chair.

 I've been playing with the milk paint and shellac combinations to build a burnt orange with some depth.

 The process used the Real Milk paint company colors Goldenrod and Butternut and the shellac was tinted with stains Early American Maple and Engish Oak from Lockwood Stains. I built the color by layering the paint and shellac and then topping it off with Waterlox and finally raw tung oil.
 I tried to keep the warmth and grain of the wood showing through while using the paint to tame the differences in the species. I am pleased with the results and hope to refine them more. I will happily share my recipes and process once I've got a better handle on it. There are just too many variables that I am still grappling with.

It's been a learning experience that began with a chair that I built this spring. I was commissioned to build a replica of a chair owned by Ezra Stiles, an early President of Yale University. It was a gift to the retiring President who loved the chair that sat in his office.
 They asked me to make the chair look as much like the original as I could and I was concerned that using stains alone wouldn't do it. I have lots of old wood in the house and one thing that I noticed was the way that the patina masks the grain. I thought a translucent layering of milkpaint could create this effect. Here is the chair "in the white".
 Here is the finished chair. I had the seat done in natural rush by an expert weaver.
Finishing is always an opportunity to make or break a piece of furniture. I have painted lots of chairs and while the standard results that I've gotten are pleasing, I think there are too many options and possibilities that might add to the chairs to stop trying new things.


mckenzie said...

The burnt orange finish is really stunning, it has a lot of depth.


funshitonly said...

I love it Pete, did you mix the paint colors or layer them?

Peter Galbert said...

Thanks for the comments. The paint is both mixed and layered. I'll work to nail down simple directions and post them,

Unknown said...

Nice and lovely post.

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Jeff Smith said...

I love the warm tone of the color. I like the stretchers too. Is that a new design?


Peter Galbert said...

the design has been evolving and is pretty much done for now. I have been curving the stretchers on my rockers for a while now to give more leg room

Unknown said...


I still need to come and make this chair with you. One of my favorites.

I like your post and rung replica. I was thrown to see you make a post and rung chair. I find I like the weaving actually. Real rush is one of the easiest to make look decent even if you aren't that great at weaving.

Unknown said...

I love the chair and its make-over - it came out so wonderful. It is grand when someone can save a piece of lovely furniture.Discount Beds and Mattresses

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discount church chairs at topchurchchairs said...

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