savonarola chair


1:12 scale model

original chair in the Metropolitan

Yesterday I finished carving the back rest. The shield and crest came from this original chair in the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New York.  I cannot say the complete chair is a replica as i couldn't get it's measurements, but let's say it was a huge inspiration.






It was fun to build but now i can clear up the workbench. While working on a project i never do, and there's stuff and tools everywhere... But once i'm done i clean up everything. So it ends looking like a blank canvas and ready for something new. And there are some great idea's...


enjoy the weekend,





82 comments:

  1. Che meraviglia!!! Lei ha le mani fatate.

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  2. Molto bello! I love the repetition of the legs on the chair, such a nice rhythm! And you did a wonderful job on the carving, it looks great!
    I would be tempted to put some black shoe polish on it, but I know how particular you are about the finish ;-) (Yes I do listen!!!!)

    I may be repeating myself, but you have made another masterpiece!

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    1. Grazie Josje ;) The finish on this piece was all new to me. After the workshop last month i got me some sanding sealer, as David suggested. I tested it out on the chest we'd made to see how it works. Pretty nice so i used it on this chair too. It is very thin and if you buff it up with some wire wool it gives it a satin sheen, just like wax. I feel the biggest advantage of sealer as aposed to wax or shoe polish is it doesn't clog the carving. If you want to use black shoe polish to enhance the carving (if that's your intend?), my guess is the best result would be to stain it a bit more, and then sand down to highlight. If you suggest it to simulate centuries of waxing and buffing i think it would work well... I'll test it out later today on some test carvings i've done! Curious to see for myself ;-)

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    2. Yes I meant to simulate centuries of waxing and buffing. But it is a bit of a risk as it could clog the carving a bit. Having said that, I have used it before on some pieces myself, and if you use a nice smooth and fairly thin shoepolish (Hema I believe is nice and fine, but I'd have to check that)you can get a nice effect without leaving much wax build up.

      Glad you liked the sanding sealer. The advantage of using it before waxing is that the wax will spread very easily,as it won't soak into the wood. It will just leave a thin layer of soft shine.

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    3. Hi Josje, I had a go with shoe polish on some practice carvings, and what a great idea is that! I had black at hand (and a burgundy and clear) and i feel so silly why i never thought of it before. It's so much thinner then ordinary furniture wax or caranauba wax but still colors the deeper parts in the wood :) So much more in proportion! I can happily tell you that Kiwi shoe polish did the trick just as well as the Hema brand. The black is a bit too harsh though, for this chair, but I've put a brown version on my shopping list as it sure is nice to play with. So thanks for the tip! It's much appreciated (big thumb up)

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    4. It is one of those things I used one day just because I had it laying around when I needed some polish. And I found it worked very well. I didn't realise that others (you) might not think of using it. Anyway, I am glad it works on your carvings. The good thing with shoepolish is that it comes in many, many colours ;-)

      I was just doing some cleaning in my work room and found the shoepolish I used for polishing wood...it is Kiwi!

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  3. Debora, Your work is just Unbelievable!!!! The Chair is Gorgeous!!! It is hard to believe yours is a Miniature!!! What an inspiration you are!!!!

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    1. Thank you Betsy. Your comment reminds me to put in a coin or something, in the picture... to give an idea of dimensions... i always forget :s Ooh well, best thing is to hear it's inspiring :D As so much of what other people make is inspiring to me too. Thanks again, it means a lot i can return the favor this way

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  4. Where will your perfect, miniature Savonarola chair end up, I wonder, now that it is finished? The carving on the back is particularly fine and I don't know how I missed the 'feet' --flawless!

    Looking forward to seeing your next incredible project!

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    1. Who knows John, who knows??? I have no idea either in this case :) Thanks for stumbling over the 'feet'. They dó stick out a bit, don't they ;-)

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  5. It certianly is a master piece! Perhaps a museum piece. I LOVE it!!!!!!!!!

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  6. What a gorgeous, gorgeous chair! It came out perfect :) Stunning---

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    1. Thank you Linda! To hear this from you means a lot to me. Your work and talent have been a huge inspiration for me. Your latest work is adorable and admirable as ever. That cute gorgeous rocking horse is every girls dream and to think it is made out of one solid piece of wood... The best is your paint finish, best there is!

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  7. Beautiful Debby, the back come out wonderful. The MET has inspired quite a few of my pieces too, I will go and hunt for this one next year.

    By the way, do you know that all the MET museum's out of print books and catalogs are available to download from the website? Be warned, there are about 300 of them, but a wonderful resource.

    http://www.metmuseum.org/research/metpublications/titles-with-full-text-online?searchtype=F

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  8. Great link Elga! Catalogues or publications are a great resource and I have many here on the bookshelf too! But no matter how wonderful it is to have access to these books on-line, nothing beats to hold the real thing and flip through it on a cold evening, curled up on the couch with a cup of coffee and a bar of chocolate and let yourself carry away. Till then I gladly thank you for the link, cos the internet is amazing! Where would we be without it???

    I envy your trip next year already, cos the best is to see the items for yourself, in real! And ya, this chair is on display too... It will be a busy trip for you then, cos there are other items to you wanna go look for too, like embroidery, no?

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    1. Elga and Debora, the MET is also very good at giving people the opportunity to study an object in depth. They will let you come behind the scenes and everything. This I know from a friend who has done so on several occasions. However, this was quite some years ago and I don't know their policies now, but you could always ask them!

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    2. I think you can arrange a visit in advance to see specific items, not sure if they would do it for an individual though and yes, I plan to spend a day there on each trip as often as I can. I buy the ticket in advance and then you don't have to que when you get there, you can just go straight in.

      And Debby, I also like the hard copy, but when you can't find one at a reasonable price, a PDF is better than nothing :-)

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  9. This chair was everywhere when I travelled in Europe early this year. I will even have a pair in my merchant house eventually. Mini too .

    Deborah, I am just blown away by your work. You are a master of masters. *kowtow in respect.

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    1. I hope you'll find your chair soon, itfor it sounds it will be a wonderful reminder of your memorable trip through Europe. I recall it was a joy to read bout all your adventures :)

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  10. Ik blijf me verbazen over je kunstwerken. Wat prachtig als je zo iets moois kunt maken van het begin af aan. Mijn complimenten voor deze schitterende stoel. Je mag super trots zijn op dit geweldige resultaat.

    Fijne zondag en groeten,

    Xandra

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  11. Amazing. I absolutely adore the carving in the chair and the overall finish you have achieved. Please can I ask what tools your use for the carving. I have wondered about having a go but have found information limited in this area. Thanks for sharing your super work.

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    1. Thanks Natalia, glad you like it. Your question is more then fair because i recall to have felt like that too, a few years ago. Indeed there is not much info to be found and what is out there is shattered all over the internet. I've made an internal note to do a post about the tools soon, cos there is lots to say bout it. Too much for here in the comment box. So stay tuned... :)

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  12. Hello, this piece is magnificent.
    congratulations

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  13. Really magnificent work, congratulations on your achievement.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words and dropping by, David! Yes, you could call it an achievement. The road to building it proved full with holes and threw all sorts of challenges. But that was fun and it felt really good to find paths to steer round 'm :)

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  14. Een geweldig meester-kunstwerk! Ik ben benieuwd naar je volgende project!

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    1. Dank je Idske, ik ben ook benieuwd ; )

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  15. This chair is so awesome, I don't have the words to describe how much I admire your work.
    The carvings must be so unbelievably small, it is a miracle to me
    they did not chip off here and there.
    Incredible work!
    Hugs,
    Gee

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    1. Thank you Gee! I wish i had magical abilities :))) But trust me, there's no magic involved... Just taking it flake by flake?

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  16. The chair looks incredible Debora. Such an inspirational piece of work =0)

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  17. My great gran mother had a couple of Savonarolas at home and I never liked them as a kid: too hard and not at all confortable but yours.....that's another planet, that's beyond words.
    I love it to bits, it's simply meravigliosa!
    Rosanna

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    1. Grazi mille Rosanna! Didn't Gran mama have a cushion??? Haha, i'm not saying you're a softy '-) It seemed that even Kings and noblemen thought it to be too harsh on their bottom parts, cos they all seem to have had cushions!

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  18. Wow! You are so talented! It's an exquisite piece of furniture.
    Hugs, Drora

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  19. This is the most beautiful miniature chair I ever seen in my life!
    Congratulations, you are definitely gifted.
    Gorgeous, simply gorgeous!
    Hugs, Gleise

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  20. Amazing !!!!! beautiful piece Debora lots of detail and functional too.

    Mario

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    1. Thank you Mario! Like i wrote on your blog, I admire your pieces and the way your finishes add to 'm. I'm still learning to find the right finish for each piece. Sanding sealer is another new product to me, and it has properties i can only discover by testing and using it.

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  21. I'm just speechless.What a wonderful work,you are truly a master in woodworking!!! Hugs,Jeannette

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    1. Thank you Janette! aka the master of plants!!! :)

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  22. Oh ik zat te klappen in mijn handen achter de computer van pret, wat een plezier om te bekijken en te bestuderen van proces tot eindresultaat! Een feestje voor m'n ogen, ik verbaas me over hoe precies en verfijnd het snijwerk is, en hoe gelikt het eindresultaat eruit ziet. Ongelooflijk!

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    1. Hey Anneke! Dank je wel voor je reactie, ik zie je helemaal voor me :) Wat jij omschrijft zouden de Engelsen 'eyecandy' noemen? Ik ervaar het ook wel eens en het is dan inderdaad een enorm plezier als je zoiets ziet. Ik ben gevleid en het maakt me blij dat deze stoel dat voor jou doet :)))

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  23. What a lovely piece of furniture you have created. I envy your talent.

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    1. Thank you Irene. It wasn't easy to build but i've learned a lot along the way

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  24. Hello Debora,
    It is just amazing. Every single detail is so perfect and so well done. I see many pieces and think, that looks like real life furniture, but nothing ever so delicate and intricate as this. You really are one of my miniature heros...so much talent! Thank you for sharing so much information with us. It is so incredibly helpful and inpiring.
    Big hug,
    Giac

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    1. Hi Giac! Thanks for your appreciative words, especially your last remark. That's why i post about it all; it's to show you how it's done and to (hopefully :) inspire others.

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  25. Thank you, thank you Debora for coming by my blog! I am happy because now I can see this amazing little creation you have made. It is just perfection!

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    1. Thank you June. I really loved your post cos you'd captured neglect, decay and erosion in such a lyrical way. For me that type of beauty is evident but you point it out like a poet

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  26. Hola, esta cadira es fantàstica, esta molt bé. M'agradaria que m'ensenyesis moltes més meravelles com aquesta i que m'ensenyesis les tecniques per fer el tallat a la fusta. Jo tambe faig cadires en miniatura , visita el meu bloc N'hi ha per a llogar cadires, http://seualacadira.blogspot.com.es/.

    Una salutació
    Gerard
    PD: idioma català

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    1. Love your dedication for chairs Gerard. Modern, classics, cutting edge designs, any chair. And i can see why, your blog was real fun to read

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  27. Ik vind het echt geweldig!! Ik vind jouw stoel eerlijk gezegd zelfs mooier dan het origineel (en da's niet om te slijmen, dat meen ik!). Wat een prachtig kunstwerk Deborah, ongelooflijk.....

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    1. Dank je wel Monique. Maar jouw buffelhoorn (?) stoel met vacht is ook fantastisch! Beetje vreemd misschien en 'over the top' maar juist daarom zo bijzonder. Toevallig zag ik laatst een 3 delige set op E-bay van Susanne Rosso; http://www.ebay.com/itm/THREE-PIECE-HANDMADE-MINIATURE-HORN-FURNITURE-SOFA-CHAIR-FOOTSTOOL-1-12-SCALE-/200843768150?pt=US_Dolls_Bears_Toys&hash=item2ec338b156
      Nu alleen nog een mooi huis ervoor vinden ;-) Misschien iets voor jou?

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    2. Ja zeker dat is ie, maar die heb ik niet zelf gemaakt, dat had de maakster van Take a Seat gedaan.. En hij is eigenlijk helemaal niet in de stijl die ik zoek (voor een huis oid) hoor, maar vond em zo geweldig dat ik em had besteld omdat ik had bedacht dat ik em in mijn ooit te bouwen huis mooi op zolder kan zetten, daar vond ik em perfect voor, als reminder aan de goede foute tijd :)
      Dank voor de ebay-tip, had zeker iets kunnen zijn voor me, maar is dus (op 1 meubelstuk na) niet echt wat ik zoek... ;)

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  28. Ik heb er maar een woord voor:"Bizar!".
    Ik ben nog niet zo lang in miniatuurland, maar ik kijk mijn ogen uit bij wat jij maakt.

    Groetjes, Alexandra.

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  30. Whaow. Now that is real craftsmanship - or craftwomanship! Your attention to detail is truly impressive. Amazing. Best wishes, Carol :)

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  31. Hi Debora, I just want to let you know I have put a link to your blog on my recent post.... about the seashells you gave me last Spring! I hope you don't mind. And you will recognize some of them in the Tiny things I made with them! Thanks again for your generosity!
    I still can't get over the perfection of your chair!!!!

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    1. Hi Betsy, I knew you would love the tiny shells, and eventually even do something with them. So no! Of course i don't mind you linked them, are you nuts!? I love what you've done with 'm! Perfect little objects, all the other donated shells work great together.

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  32. Hi Debora I was strolling around through my bookmarks and took a look at your site...... then I saw your chair. WOW.... at first I thought it was the full scale one! Your carving is fantastic! .... and I really like the way you explained making all the matching parts and drilling holes in the same places on each....... Great work and hope to see it in real sometime.

    Wm. R. Robertson

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    1. Hi Bill. Thanks so much for dropping by. And even more thanks for your praise and kind words. To hear you say you were mistaken by it's size is the best :D Of course you'll see it, when we meet in Maine; I'll make sure to pull your jacket

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  33. Totally amazing. This is truly perfection in miniature.
    It as a pleasure to find this.

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    1. Thank you Patricia, for your visit and for taking the time to leave your kind words.

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  34. Hi Debora,
    I keep visiting your blog and wondering what keeps you busy from blogging? I hope everything is OK and soon you will shock all of us (in a good way) with your new masterpiece! Mini hugs, Natalia

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  35. In one word like in one hundred : FA-BU-LOUS !!!

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  36. Ik was al een tijdje niet ,meer op je site wezen kijken...en had deze mooi stoel dus bijna gemist..Nou ja stoel noem het maar gewoon een Kunstwerk met grote K.
    Zit hier met veel bewondering naar te kijken.
    Echt geweldig gemaakt!!!!!

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