Tuesday, 1 March 2016


then I'm your gal!
I've just learnt how to recane a chair seat (using woven cane) so I can't claim to be an expert yet… but... it's turned out really well.

This antique spindle-back chair has an interesting story.  Made in USA, I'm not sure how old it is but do know that it has spent much of its life in a historic homestead on an Illawarra dairy farm.

It was brought to me to have its seat reupholstered, but it was only after stripping off the old layers*, that I discovered the original, badly broken, cane seat. It wasn't possible to reupholster as is - nor without changing the integrity of the chair… so recaning seemed the best option. The client will probably now use a loose cushion to soften the seat, but we're both 
pleased the chair is back to its original design

* One interesting thing which came to light between several layers of upholstery, was a thick pile of red dirt. As soon as I saw it I was reminded of a major dust storm which hit the east coast of Australia in 2009 (including here in the Illawarra). It was very notable because the dust had blown a long, long way from outback Australia and was a very distinctive red colour. The thick cloud blanketed a very large area of eastern Australia, including not only Sydney Harbour but also 'Bottoms' End' (my workshop), and, without doubt, also the home this chair lived in nearby. For more than a decade following, one whole exterior wall of Bottoms' End was permanently tinted with that red colour, until it was painted over.
It's only conjecture on my part that perhaps the dust which fell out of the upholstery came from that storm, but I like to think so.