Friday, September 17, 2010

Chevalet Video

I'm going to try something new this post. I have a video which Anatole Burkin recorded at Williamsburg some years ago. I will post it here for you to view.

At the time, Anatole was editor of Fine Woodworking magazine, one of the hosts of the conference. The conference was one of the early meetings of the recently formed group, the Society of American Period Furniture Makers, which was held during the "Working Wood in the 18th Century" event at Williamsburg.

I joined this group as soon as I discovered its existence, and was presented with membership number 170. I am sure that there are more than 500 members currently, and one of the benefits of membership is the annual Journal, "American Period Furniture." I contributed articles to each of the first three Journals, copies of which can be found on my website, under the Consulting page. The current issue is number IX, and has evolved into the finest source of traditional techniques and trades available.

The SAPFM group continues to hold their annual event at Williamsburg in January, plus an additional mid-year meeting at other locations. Chapters of this group are active in Ohio, Virginia, New England, Great Lakes, San Francisco, St. Louis, Georgia and the Carolinas. Each year a member is nominated to receive the Cartouche Award as a lifetime achievement in the craft of furniture making.

I was a presenter at one of the first conferences, demonstrating French marquetry techniques. I built a large crate, and inside that 4' x'4'x'4' cube placed an entire marquetry workshop. I had veneer, glue pots, hand tools and my chevalet, along with lots of examples of the process used by the French to create these wonderful designs. The box was full and it took me several efforts to get everything in place before I screwed it shut.

After the show was over, and before I packed away my gear, Anatole suggested that we should shoot a short video. He had the camera, and I sat down and made a brief talk about the tool. We only had one take, and the lighting was poor, but I think you get an idea of some of the features which the chevalet offers.

This video is also available on the Fine Woodworking site, along with all the videos which were shot during these SAPFM events. They are worth watching, as they document some of the best woodworkers active today.


Peri said...

My chevalet is still working well, though not quite so often as it did in the past. When I finish the painting I am working on, I have plans to use my chevalet to produce the marquetry of that painting for a cabinet I have designed for my wife. Nothing so fancy as you would do, but it will be done on a "period" chevalet, using the proper techniques. I don't do enough with it to join the SAPFM, but the chevalet is, I like to think, enjoying a much needed vacation.

W. Patrick Edwards said...

I should mention that Peri is the proud owner of the antique chevalet which I used to demonstrate in this video. This tool was purchased by me in Paris, along with an antique picking machine. Both tools had been used in a marquetry workshop since the middle of the 19th century. Peri took classes from me at the American School of French Marquetry, and loved the tool she was using so much she talked me out of it.