Thursday, August 07, 2014

Tables made of paper (sort of)

Much of what I bind ends up covered in chiyogami, that righteous (and sometimes riotous) famous paper of Japan. I love how multiple motifs can work their way onto a sheet, and yet the design still exemplifies chic Japanese style. What could be chaos reads as calming complexity.

Long a fan of unique small pieces of furniture picked up at resales around town, I often bemoan their damaged tops, from water usually or simply decades of scraping and placing. I never got around to refinishing the furniture properly, but then it hit me, How about chiyogami? It looks stunning on books; what of the other plain or damaged surfaces in our lives?

First I cleaned the tabletop for a good seal, sandpapered the rough spots, then applied a piece of precisely cut chiyogami using wheat paste. Over that I spread another coat of wheat paste, then several layers of finish from the hardware store. Voilà—chiyogami furniture.

Tabletop detail of chiyogami pattern

Thus emboldened, I took on a larger piece.

Tabletop detail of chiyogami pattern