Dedicated to Historic preservation and restoration of the Victorian Era and my own spin on why things are the way they are. Paul Willham, Editor & Publisher
Monday, December 12, 2011
Knox Hill Project: Weekly update
We are , of course, still stencilling but that is not the only thing we are working on and this week I thought I'd talk a bit about some of the other things we are working on.
In the Dining room we have the "Window Wall' on the east side of the house. The plan has always been to put a pier mirror between the two windows (common in homes of this era). However we want to maintain the 'matched set" regarding the formality of the rooms. As you may recall we custom built the ebonized overmantle in the front parlor and also built a matching drapery cornice. That same design will be carried into the dining room, except the pier mirror will be a cusom built in between the windows and the drape cornices will extend off of it. This accomplishes also the ability to hide the heat ducts. We will also "architecurally panel" the areas under the two windows. Now all of this will be ebonized but what will really set it apart is I have two large pieces of Birdseye Maple which I will use for Inlay panels and trim throughout the piece and the overmantle. It is one of the more 'ambitious' woodworking projects that I have done but I am looking forward to the challenge. the combination of the ebonized wood, gold leafing and birdseye maple should be stunning.
Now the pier mirror will have shelf on the lower base part below the pier mirror and I NEVER throw things away so I have this small slab to use to make the top of the shelf. I have to get the paint off the edge and clean it up. The dimension of this shelf will involve cutting this piece down to 22 inches wide. This will be done using a wet tile saw equipped with a special diamond blade.
Another bit of 'serendipity" is the acquisition of the tile fireplace surround for the front upstairs master bedroom. You may recall we have a nice tall wood mantle with top mirror (thanks to a generous neighbor) that is perfect for the bedroom. However there was no tile surround with it. I measured the opening of this and wrote it down on my "Wish card" which is a card with dimensions of things I need for restoration like this tile opening, summer cover sizes, that sort of thing. Whenever I travel or go antiquing I keep this card with me. I recently came across FOUR tile surrounds and all were the right size two in white and two in this pompeii red/brown color. Now I didnt need 4 tile surrounds but I had a client who actually needed two white surrounds to finish their twin parlor restoration. This one is for us and I have one left for sale like this, if anyone needs one (contact me for details) this are 43 1/2 wide and 42 tall and openings are 30x30.The good thing was these were properly removed. The plaster (that holds the tile together was carefully delaminated from the brick background) We will be covering how to reinstall one of these in an upcoming blogpost.
I have been involved in Historic Preservation and Restoration for the last 25 plus years. I am president of Victorian Antiquities & Design. I am proud to be a part of restoring the architectural history of our country.