Upholsterer Mike Mascelli was kind enough to send along some photos of what happened in his class to the terrible chair frame I wrote about this week.
It’s a bit like the story of George Washington’s axe in a museum. After George died, the next owner wore out the head and replaced it. The owner after that broke the handle and replaced that. But it’s still Washington’s axe. Right?
So after removing the poor upholstery from a commercial chair, Jim, one of Mike’s students, saw the crappy frame. So they rebuilt the frame properly. Then upholstered it using sound techniques.
As Mike put it: “(It’s) the story of how the brave woodworker used the power of upholstery to defeat the Evil Empire of Cheap Furniture (and got the girl…. I think the chair was for Jim’s wife).”
Mike donated the horrible original chair frame to the Marc Adams School of Woodworking for the school’s “permanent collection.”
“I will be very anxious to hear what Michael Fortune has to say about it when we finally get to talk,” Mike said.
Mike, as you might imagine, is passionate about preserving and teaching sound upholstery techniques. So if you are interested in the “soft” side of woodworking, look for classes taught by Mike in the coming year.
— Christopher Schwarz