Tina Solis. Furniture. April 18th , 2017.
In today's market place you can find a plethora of reproduced chairs, desks, tables, storage units, lighting, and accessories inspired by the industrial era, but if you truly want an industrial look, try searching for original items that can be found in salvage yards, flea markets and junk shops, and re-purpose them, or use them as is to add a bit of character and drama to a space. Many of today's manufacturers are designing pieces that really bring back the industrial era and while some of these items are pricey, they are great for adding historical character in today's spaces.
Wood veneers can be difficult to match. It is possible to buy new veneer strips, but they are generally thinner than the old hand-sawn veneers and do not always match in colour. It often pays to go to an auction to look for a broken oddment of furniture that has suitable veneers. To remove a veneer from its backing, first clean off any old polish with white spirit and carefully clean the varnish or wax. Place a damp cloth over the cleaned strip and press with a fairly hot iron. Keep the cloth damp. This melts the Scotch glue holding down the veneer, which can then be peeled off. The same technique is used to raise small areas on the antique piece, but use a soldering iron instead of an iron. Wipe all traces of glue while it is still warm. Dampen the veneer and flatten it between two pieces of wood for about 24 hours before use. Do not let it dry completely, for veneers must be re-laid while still damp and pliable. The replacement veneer should be slightly thicker than the existing one, to allow for sanding. Stick the new strip down with Scotch glue and apply a weight or clamp until the glue has completely set. Wax and polish to match the existing finish.
It is clear, then, that when it comes to the sustainability of natural rattan garden furniture, home-owners have even less cause for concern than they would with items made from the synthetic variant.
In fact, rather than harm the environment, rattan can be considered to benefit it, insofar as it is used as a replacement for wood wicker in many furniture items. This, in turn, helps preserve forests, as it reduces the need to source wood from trees, preventing deforestation and logging. Furthermore, this plant is often grown in floodplains, thereby facilitating the appearance of animal populations in said areas and making use of soil which would, otherwise, go unused. Finally, rattan harvesting and sourcing helps provide jobs for inhabitants of the areas of the world the material is commonly found at, thus helping maintain a sustainable economy.
Furniture Veneer, Inlay, Marquetry and Boulle: Their artistry fell into four main categories: veneers, strips of mahogany or walnut, waxed and polished to enrich their grain and colour; marquetry, patterns and pictorial designs built up from a variety of different woods; inlay, which achieved a similar effect using pieces of tortoiseshell, mother of pearl, ivory and ebony; and boulle, named after a French family of cabinet makers in the 17th and 18th centuries whose furniture was decorated with designs in brass, picked out in black pigment and filled in with inlay. The skills of these craftsmen linger on in many small individual firms. Many of these antique pieces fetch an unbelievably high price at auctions around the globe, especially if they are from sought after craftsmen from early Victorian periods.
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