Don’t you hate principles


One of the projects I have been working on for a while is a pair of Gothic thrones.

Each throne is made up of 16 separate pieces of wood, all of which have now been shaped, in some cases turned, sanded both by machine and hand, they have been partially assembled, and before I put it together I am applying the finish.

Many years ago I met an old timer who taught me the basics of french polishing, and ever since it’s been my finish of choice. It imparts a depth of shine that varnish cannot hope to touch, and brings out the grain and colour of the wood, whereas varnish makes everything toffee coloured. the process if you have never seen it involves applying the liquid polish by hand in thin layers, building it up layer by layer, sometimes up to 20 layers to get a depth of finish which varnish cannot match. For this project I am going slightly further and using black polish, which is french polish with a stain, which creates an ebonised finish, perfect for gothic thrones. The end result is lovely and imparts a feeling  of quality, the downside is that it takes forever, two hours for the four pieces shown, only another 30 pieces to go.

When it’s done I know I will sit back, hopefully on a throne, and admire the work, but at the moment Im wishing I ignored my principles and used varnish

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