A Simple Gift
That was stupid.
I got it done (thanks to Glen Huey’s inlay-by-router tutelage as well as the use of his shop, because ours was still in boxes for last year’s move), but it was down to the wire. I added the hardware early in the morning on Dec. 25, and the quickly cut, sloppy drawer dovetails will be a source of everlasting shame (I was raised Catholic; guilt is a way of life).
So this year, I got her a Rookwood tile (for those of you unfamiliar with this venerable Cincinnati company, it’s worth checking out – both for its storied history and recent rebirth), and instead of buying a frame for it, decided to make one.
I started out with a rough idea of an exposed through-tenon, pagoda-shaped, pegged-joint frame. But I got two-thirds of the way done, slipped the tile in place for fitting, and realized the simple design of the pottery was overshadowed by the too-complicated frame.
So I stored that frame along with my eleventy-billion other partially done projects, raced (back) to the lumber store and picked up some quartersawn white oak. After eight 45° cuts at the miter saw (I need to sharpen my miter box saw) then shooting them to fit with my No. 5, I rabbeted the back to form a lip to hold the tile in place from the front, cleaned up the workpieces with my No. 4, then glued the thing together and walked away for a day.
The finish is one coat of walnut stain, one coat of Watco Danish oil in walnut, and three (or was it four?) coats of thinned amber shellac.
The tile is secured in place with one small flat ring hanger centered on each side of the frame, and I added a large self-leveling picture hanger at the top, so all she has to do it put a nail in the wall.
Next year, if I decide to make her that art nouveau Gustav Stickley poppy table she wants, I will start in August. At the latest.
p.s. For those who expressed interest in the whiskers on my kittens, here ya go: Possum is the grey at the top (he’s the three-legged one), Viola is the tortie, and Just Joseph (JJ) is the long-haired grey.