Every year I seem to have a stand-out favorite Christmas project. This year I'd have to pick this amazing heirloom Christmas gift transformation. Aaron Shipley contacted me back in September about his Great-Great-Grandmother's Lincoln rocker he wanted to bring back to life and give to his son and daughter-in-law for Christmas. Aaron sent photos along the way of the chair's transformation before it was brought in to be caned- the finishing touch.
Lots of personal projects getting done this summer and fall in anticipation of our first baby due in January.
Two years ago a gentleman brought me this rocker which he had used on his porch at his house on Lake Erie for many decades. He asked if I'd like to have it- that he wanted it to go to a good home. Sure! He was pleased it was going to live on, I was pleased to have it. I planned on stripping off the old paint, refinishing it, and weaving a new seat and back for my front porch, but like many personal projects it sat in my storage room waiting for that rare opportunity where I had a lag in work. It never came.
Personal Project- Family Heirloom Baby Basket
For those of you who may not know, my husband and I are expecting our first baby - a girl - in January. So while the weather has been nice we have been finishing up some painting and repair projects for the nursery. Full on nesting here we come!
I am a hand-me-down, heirloom, found at the curb and fixed up kind of girl. So when we found out we were (are) expecting, I was excited to be the next in our family to use the baby basket. It is a wood laundry basket my grandma bought "for $5" back when her first born came along, my uncle, and was also used for my mom. This was the early 1950's and the basket doubled as a bassinet and a car seat! Times have changed!
Skip forward a generation and it was used by my older cousins and by my brother and I when we were newborns. It fit perfectly on my mom's nightstand and kept us close those first few weeks. Skip forward one more generation and it has also been used by my cousin's kids.
Needless to say after almost 65 years in service, 3 generations, and many babies this well used "laundry basket" was in need of some TLC.
Today marks the 2 year anniversary since I began Emza's Chair Caning and weaving repair as a full time business!
In the past year I have restored..... drum roll please..... 200 chairs, rockers, stools, benches, canoe seats, rocking horses, child's chairs, high chairs, etc.... Holy. Moly.
A big thank you to my husband who has put up with our house being perpetually full of chairs! And for being an extra set of hands to help me remove old weaving. I couldn't do it without him
This summer also marks the 19th year since I first learned how to cane from my father and began to help him with his business (now retired).
My 3rd year is going to be an interesting one as we will be welcoming our first baby after Christmas. I will be taking some time off to spend with our new little member of the family and then getting back into the workshop any way I can!
Here is to an expectant and very exciting 3rd year!
-Emily Emza Uphill
Well, it is time to let the cat out of the bag- my husband and I are expecting our first baby in early January! We are so very excited and having a lot of fun spilling the beans and getting used to the idea of a new little family member.
I am currently still going strong (albeit a little slower than I am used to) in the workshop, but due to impending maternity leave closer to my due date, do not wait to get your pieces in! Especially for the holiday season.
Once I am on maternity leave I will be taking "will calls" for when I am able to begin working again- most likely spring 2015.
By Appointment at: (614)906-4363
Day 1 - Pittsburgh, Pa
My husband and I managed to get away, along with our friends, for 3 days over the weekend. The first day we headed to Pittsburgh, PA to visit the Carnegie Museums. I believe it was my 5th time in the last 10 years? I do not have repetitive tendencies at all...
Chair wall in the Decorative Arts and Design gallery
This is a Lincoln Rocker that was brought in recently for a new seat. The problem? The seat, according to the owner, had been replaced 4 years ago in New Mexico (before she moved to Ohio) and the new cane is failing. Once I got a chance to see it in person, it was very clear that whomever replaced the seat did so with a sheet of pre-woven cane.
Happy 100th birthday to Danish Modernism furniture design master Hans Wegner.
In his lifetime he designed over 500 chairs, some were in wider production than others, but all still in high demand today. His design aesthetic is described as "Organic Functionality"- taking inspiration from nature and how our bodies are cradled within curves. There are still echos of traditional furniture design such as the sweeping back and spindles of traditional Windsor chairs in his Peacock Chair. But like the Valet Chair, his takes on the traditional were stripped down to their most sleek and organic form- devoid of ornate carving and ornamentation.
E Emza Uphill