Monday, 8 September 2014

Vendors - Jane Harrop


Jane Harrop

Art Deco dressing chest
£5

This will be a bit more extended than some of the previous 'makes'.  It is the last of my selecting one from each vendor that I have bought so far and, already, I feel as though I am picking up so much information as I go along. I felt confident enough to tweak the last one so, coming to this, I wondered what I might do here rather than just open the packet and do as I was told.

Jane's makes are lovely just as they are so I didn't want to change it other than I fancied a very slight wood frame around the mirror.  I know it is wrong and the deco one would be just as Jane's is but my mom's real one was just a 'cheap' thirties dressing table and the mirror was set so that it had an edge around it. Why that matters to me I have no idea.

So the extended write-up is to share how I am pandering to my finickiness.


lovely picture

Nice clear packaging BUT no Jane Harrop to be found.  I wonder why she has chosen not to put her name and contact details on the outside of the package.  That said there is a distinctive style and I can certainly pick her work out from the stash if I am looking for something.  

great instructions



Her instructions are spot on.  Clearly written, clearly explained, tons of step by step pictures.  She has written a couple of how-to books and it shows.  There is even a lovely glossy photo attached.



As for the kit itself - it is absolutely perfect.  It is made from lovely quality thin wood and, because of some very clever cutting,the pieces come in the usual 'frame' but the nib is so very tiny that the pieces are almost free wheeling (indeed some are) and (others) just need a gentle nudge to free them completely.  I didn't need to de-nib at all on this kit. Big plus.

She does generous things like giving you three pieces for the two you need when the pieces are very fine like the support pieces for the mirror so, if you snapped one, you have a spare.  The kit also contained ten (!) drawer handles for the four needed.  In addition to this she included a piece of Abranet (pricey stuff) and card so you could smooth the wood to a really silky finish.

Abranet

I did this by pinching the piece between my fingernails.  I was concerned that I might rub the nose of my tweezers if I used those.  The result was astonishing.  You start with what you think is perfectly smooth wood and end up with something as smooth as silk.

dirty paper

After staining she suggests rubbing the piece on the back of the instructions paper to buff it to a slight sheen.  The mucky paper proves that it works like a charm and would have been even better if I'd used a better quality stain pen.



testing, testing

This is where I start to get picky.  The handles with the kit are in the same wood and I wondered if they should be stained to match - the obvious solution - but then they wouldn't show up much.  I tried them in chrome (silver pen) or natural but glossy so they look a bit like Bakelite.  You need to stretch your imagination a little.  I also tried black.  Finally I settled on the natural plus nail polish for a plastic finish.

bit of a clean up

Next bit of picky - the lines for the drawers needed redefining.  They fill in a little with the stain and some of the wood fibres swell, so I went over the grooves with a dental pick.  My eyes and motor skills need the help of a magnifying glass for things like this.


always measure

I don't do anything by sight that I can do do by measuring.  We are notoriously lop-sided as humans and favour one side or the other - how many times do you hang a picture or a mirror and it tilts to the right (or left depending on your dominant hand/eye).  Yes, I use a spirit level......


template?

Drawer handles the same - make a 'template' after measuring and then mark where the handles will go.

wonky handle!!!!!

Ta-da.... do I need to say it again?  The real object is much better than its portrait.  Silky smooth and really dainty.






















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