Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Not much inspiration

Today I visited the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam with my wife. First visit since, probably, 30 years. The musuem has been completely renovated some two years ago. I enjoyed it a lot, plenty of nice things to see. It is mostly a celebration of the heroic past of The Netherlands, without too much attention to the black pages in that same history.

The Netherlands do have a remarkable past for such a small country. Especially during the 17th century a major part of European trade ran through our markets and towns. A bunch of merchants became incredibly rich. And they liked to show it. Naturaly my attention was drawn to the many furniture exhibits. And I must say, I didn't find inspiration for my own home. Almost everything on display is way over the top. The craftmanship to produce stuff like this is incredible, but when you live in a low budget house made in the fifties, it is hard to imagine how anyone could fit things like this in their homes. So, just for the fun of it, some images. You can also find many pictures on the website from the museum

Later, in the hall with the medieval stuff I did find some interesting things. Not necessarily for a reproduction, but I like these items.

And of course, let's not forget the tools from the expedition which stranded on Nova Zembla (1596).

Monday, October 20, 2014

Looking for inspiration

Last week I got a nice board of cherry, and wanted to make another box from it. But I changed my mind. We need a new medicine cupboard for the bathroom, so why not from this board? I really like that 17th century style of carved stuff at the moment, so I looked around for examples of small cupboards. One type is exactly what I am looking for: spice cabinets! At that time, spices were new, hip and expensive. So when you could afford them, you'd like to present them in a favorable manner. That's when the spice cabinet, box or cupboard appeared on the market. A small cupboard, usually with some kind of embellishement like carvings or mouldings. Inside the cupboard you would find small drawers. These cabinets were often very simple, so called boarder furniture. No fancy joinery, just nails. Here are some examples I found on my travels across the internet.

Later, in the 18th century, these cabinets became much more elaborate, just like most furniture. Personally I like the style of the earlier times like in the pictures above. It fits my modest needs a lot better then some miniature high boy:


I am not going to make a direct copy of one of these little cabinets, because the situation demands a slightly different shape and size. I am also not sure about all these drawers, however much I like them, they take up too much space inside the cabinet. So, not quite sure what I am going to make yet, but I am sure that I'll be strongly influenced by this style.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Kistje 1

Making practice boards is fun, but it's even better to make a real project. So, now I have two carved boards, why not make two more and assemble them together to a small chest?

Sorry for my complete inaptitude to make nice pictures. The finish looks patchy, but trust me, it isn't half as bad in real life. With an extra coat of linseed oil, it even turned out better, but it is now dark outside, so no more pictures.

Anyway. The front boards have rabbets, the side boards fit in these rabbets and then some oak pins are driven through the joint, like a nail. It's super simple, but still quite a bit of work. I made a till inside the box. The bottom is also rabetted and nailed. The top is made from some left over maple with a lot of knots. It all comes together quite nicely, if I may say so. On to the next one!