Monday, November 9, 2009

Court Cupboard

I got a shipment of little turnings and settled down to build an open court cupboard for displaying pewter and silver in the Great Hall.

This sort of piece was my inspiration:

Again, I was improvising and didn't take photographs, but this was my general method:

I cut the shelves out of basswood -- three shelves, each measuring about 4" by 1.5".

I drilled out holes for the tenons on the turnings.  I used four turnings for the front supports, and four plain pieces of strip wood for the back supports.

I assembled the shelves and supports, gluing and weighing things down.  (I hate waiting until the glue sets!)

I glued the plain wooden friezes on the fronts and sides.

I would like to learn how to carve, but until I do that, I decided to try my old friend, polymer clay, to give this piece the detail a court cupboard really needs.  I rolled out some thickish strips, cut them to width and length and embossed them with a jewellery finding.  After they were baked, I glued them onto the friezes.

The cupboard was a little low (I wanted it to be about 6" tall, it was more like 4" :))  so I made some longish feet to boost the thing up a little.  I made the feet from chunks of balsa wood with balls glued on the bottom.  The finished height is about 5.5".

Then I painted the whole thing with a darker shade of burnt umber (added some black) and washed some raw umber and black over it to bring out the "carving".   I varnished it, and I'm very pleased with the end result (although my photo could be better).

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