My nursing chair and my course


The course I am doing is the Associated Masters of Upholstery and Soft Furnishings Level 2. It is very hard. I think I imagined waltzing in and being the best in the class, after all how hard could it be?!ehhh very. In this particular level, focus is mainly on the traditional side of upholstery. We learn to web correctly, position and lash springs, stuff chairs, blind stitch, top stitch, form corners and put the top fabric on correctly. I had no idea really that anywhere near as much work went into a chair until I stripped one down, oh my dear lord. Dragging out tacks and staples and foul smelling horsehair is a lengthy and not altogether pleasant experience. However a very necessary and real part of being an upholsterer.
As part of the course we must do a series of exercises and 2 exam pieces. The exercises include a drop in seat, a deep buttoned head board, a box cushion and a sprung arm. Ask anyone who has done this course what the worst exercise is and they will undoubtedly say ‘the arm exercise’. Basically it is the total building of a scroll arm, like the type found on pretty much all couches and armchairs. SO its fairly important, yet very hard. Fortunately the exam pieces have no arms…a dining chair (as featured in my previous post!) and an armless nursing type chair. Finding such a chair was no mean feat taking me all the way round Edinburgh’s antique shops until finally finding this one down the road from me in Glasgow. Upon selling me this chair the woman urged me not to recover because it was ‘perfect as it was’. HA!!!i think she just didn’t want me to reveal the true horror that lay underneath. While most die hard traditionalist upholsters would kill me for saying this, it was tacks that lead to my chairs downfall. Tacks are used to hold down the webbing, the springs, the canvas, scrim… everything really. In this instance they have essentially taken all the wood with them and left me a toothpick sized piece of wood to try attach fabric too. However I love this little chair and tho currently a work in progress, (gettin rid of this mustard coloured fabric!) it looks better already. I have chosen to cover it in a Voyage fabric, ‘Anoushka’ in the ‘Slate’ grey and am painting the frame a darker shade of grey also. Thus far I am swaying towards Fired Earth ‘ Charcoal’ as it has a lovely deep colour and nice sheen. This chair should be completed in the next two weeks and then will be judged and my fate in Level 2 decided. Very important little chair as is worth a massive 65 points. It will then be available to purchase (should I not fall in love with it!)…. Please feel free to buy it!
madebybracken x



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