As I’ve been putting together preparations for my presentations this weekend at the Northeastern Woodworker’s Association Annual Showcase, I’m rehearsing the building blocks of furniture conservation theory and practice. I’ve found that teaching a basic introduction to a topic is the real proving ground to see if you have a good grasp on it. This weekend, I have a one hour time slot to present the overarching framework of a profession that presumably none of the listeners are involved in. With this in mind, I always make it a point to try to teach in a way that not only intrigues the listeners but also equips them to learn more on their own. Questions of the “right” thing to do, reversibility, longevity and integrity of repair are all things that are crucial to appropriate conservation treatment.
The two presentations I will be giving this weekend will be addressing exactly these kinds of issues. The only real difference between the two is that one talk is focused on finish repairs and the other shows some of the common structural repairs. (The talk titled "Conservation in Practice: Restoring Antique Furniture" will address more of these questions than the finishing one.)
If you’re going to be there, also meet me at my presenter’s booth. With the exception of my presenting time slots, I’ll be there all weekend. I will be chatting with folks about conservation and pre-industrial woodworking. I will also have along a partially disassembled 18th-century table for folks to examine up close. This piece is a new acquisition of mine which will be featured in Issue Two. If seeing inside the joints of a mid 18th-century table sounds intriguing to you, drop by for a visit. I promise it will be an eye-opener.
I will have for sale 1 lb bags of hide glue (both a regular and a “liquid” blend for longer open time), #0000 steel wool, and inpainting starter kits to get you started on this journey. I will, of course, also have the magazine, shirts, posters, and stickers available for purchase too. I look forward to seeing you there.
p.s. It would be pretty awesome to see some of you readers wearing an M&T shirt at the show. I’ll be giving out free stickers to anyone I see wearing an M&T t-shirt. So come get your stickers, folks. I mean who wouldn’t want to go to a woodworking show with “We plane. We saw. We conquer.” on their back?