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Re: question

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  • thorkatlamana
    ... additives) and then use boiled linseed oil or tung oil (which helps to protect the carving) to seal it with layers of rubbed in wax on top of that to
    Message 1 of 19 , Jan 9, 2004
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      >
      > If you paint it, what are you going to use, paint-type and color?
      >
      >
      > I would use oil paints (which take forever to dry even with
      additives) and then use boiled linseed oil or tung oil (which helps
      to protect the carving) to seal it with layers of rubbed in wax on
      top of that to protect it from weather.

      I have used acrylic paint as a stain on several boxes. I like the
      effect on some things, but it seems inappropriate this time. I can't
      have Viking gaudy going on with this one. It has a landscape scene
      with trees, a pond, a swan and other meaningful points in the
      carving. I may just oil it and be done. That sure speeds up the
      finish time.

      Thanks for the suggestions.
      T
    • Joseph Hayes
      ... Why try to make it look old? In period, wouldn t most furniture look new? Ulrich __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Hotjobs: Enter
      Message 2 of 19 , Jan 9, 2004
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        > Options I'm considering are to guild the carving, and then paint or
        > stain the rest of the box a solid color, or to just stain the whole
        > box, carving and all, to simulate age.
        >
        > My question is what might be more correct for the 14th century in
        > woodworking.

        Why try to make it look old? In period, wouldn't most furniture look
        new?

        Ulrich


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      • thorkatlamana
        In period, wouldn t most furniture look ... By simulating age I just mean to darken it to show off the details in the carving better without committing to
        Message 3 of 19 , Jan 9, 2004
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          In period, wouldn't most furniture look
          > new?
          >
          > Ulrich
          >
          >
          By "simulating age" I just mean to darken it to show off the details
          in the carving better without committing to the stain just for the
          reason of color. My shallow relief carvings don't show up as well
          until the finish darkens or the wood is oiled well. You're right, I
          do want it to look "new".

          A really good finish I've experimented with is to take a torch and
          slightly burn the surface of the wood, then to rub boiled linseed oil
          into the blackened surface. It make a rich black without closing the
          grain off to view. This carving has too many details that are likely
          to disappear with this treatment though. It may work for the rest of
          the box though.

          I'm still playing with the idea of quilding the carving and painting
          the box, but it's hard for a wood worker to want to cover up wood
          isn't it. Does anyone know if there are examples of this for the
          14th century?

          Thorkatla
        • Tim Bray
          ... Certainly, paint was probably the #1 popular method of decoration; and gilding was done on extremely high-status items. The English Coronation Throne, for
          Message 4 of 19 , Jan 9, 2004
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            >I'm still playing with the idea of quilding the carving and painting
            >the box, but it's hard for a wood worker to want to cover up wood
            >isn't it. Does anyone know if there are examples of this for the
            >14th century?

            Certainly, paint was probably the #1 popular method of decoration; and
            gilding was done on extremely high-status items. The English Coronation
            Throne, for example, was built in 1296, by "Walter the King's Painter," and
            it was originally painted and partially gilt.

            Oil paint is controversial for the 14th century; egg tempera seems to be
            common on wood panel-paintings as well as decorated furniture (cassone, for
            instance). White lead and red lead were also very commonly used. Linseed
            oil varnish was apparently known, used as a glazing finish over tempera
            paints for example, but adding pigments to the oil was something that
            probably started in the early 15th c.

            The other thing about painting on wood is the wood was often first gessoed
            to prepare a smooth ground for the paint.

            You're certainly on the right track with painting or gilding to decorate
            the wood. Both are valid for the 14th century, when the appearance of the
            wood itself was not highly regarded. (Too common and rustic for
            nobility!) Surviving carvings frequently show traces of polychrome paint
            and/or gilding.

            I wouldn't use stain, though. Apart from the doubtful authenticity for
            14th century work, it doesn't work very well on pine; too blotchy.

            Cheers,
            Colin


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          • James Winkler
            Actually... while you re correct that they wouldn t have used pine (in all probablility) I would point you to Libre de l Arte (or some such... don t have
            Message 5 of 19 , Jan 9, 2004
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              Actually...  while you're correct that they wouldn't have used pine (in all probablility) I would point you to "Libre de'l Arte" (or some such... don't have the book in front of me) by Cennini  -   Its an artists book relating to late period and gives a number of treatments for wood and panels.   
               
              What you might want to consider is applying gesso to the chest as a ground before painting/guilding.  A smooth gesso will do much for making the pine much less "pine like"...  Cennini talks a bit about preparing panels and using gesso to cover flaws... and I've seen some stuf (... now where did I put those books???) that indicate that SOME panels were recycled boards and the artist had to patch over things like...  ummm... nail holes, prior to painting... gesso is the trick.
               
              ... besides.. if you want to guild... I'm not sure how well guilding will work over bare wood.. even given a good adhesive... 
               
              Chas.
            • James Winkler
              .. oh... and I agree... old chests (particularly nice ones)... should look new... ;-D Chas.
              Message 6 of 19 , Jan 9, 2004
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                ... oh... and I agree...  old chests (particularly nice ones)... should look new...  ;-D  
                 
                Chas.
              • C N Schwartz
                Why do you say they would not have used pine? ... From: James Winkler [mailto:jrwinkler@msn.com] Sent: Friday, January 09, 2004 6:46 PM To:
                Message 7 of 19 , Jan 9, 2004
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                  Why do you say they would not have used pine?
                   
                   
                   
                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: James Winkler [mailto:jrwinkler@...]
                  Sent: Friday, January 09, 2004 6:46 PM
                  To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [medievalsawdust] Re: question

                  Actually...  while you're correct that they wouldn't have used pine (in all probablility) I would point you to "Libre de'l Arte" (or some such... don't have the book in front of me) by Cennini  -   Its an artists book relating to late period and gives a number of treatments for wood and panels.   
                   
                  What you might want to consider is applying gesso to the chest as a ground before painting/guilding.  A smooth gesso will do much for making the pine much less "pine like"...  Cennini talks a bit about preparing panels and using gesso to cover flaws... and I've seen some stuf (... now where did I put those books???) that indicate that SOME panels were recycled boards and the artist had to patch over things like...  ummm... nail holes, prior to painting... gesso is the trick.
                   
                  ... besides.. if you want to guild... I'm not sure how well guilding will work over bare wood.. even given a good adhesive... 
                   
                  Chas.



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                • James Winkler
                  Pine was a junk wood ... (... at least as far a what I ve read)... it had its uses but not for furniture per se. I don t think I ve ever run into a single
                  Message 8 of 19 , Jan 10, 2004
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                    Pine was a 'junk wood'... (... at least as far a what I've read)...  it had its uses but not for furniture per se.  I don't think I've ever run into a single reference for furniture made of it.
                     
                    Chas.
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    Sent: Friday, January 09, 2004 7:20 PM
                    Subject: RE: [medievalsawdust] Re: question

                    Why do you say they would not have used pine?
                     
                  • michael misenti
                    im sure that you wont find pine furniture in the books but lets face it if i was a peasent those days i might make it out of pine since im a peasent i couldnt
                    Message 9 of 19 , Jan 10, 2004
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                      im sure that you wont find pine furniture in the books but lets face it if i was a peasent those days i might make it out of pine since im a peasent i couldnt afford the oak the only furniture i would make out of oak is chairs beds etc things that need to support weight . but id it was just going to be a box  or table why waste the money dont forget everyone wasn't rich enough to afford  the good stuff .Mike

                      James Winkler <jrwinkler@...> wrote:
                      Pine was a 'junk wood'... (... at least as far a what I've read)...  it had its uses but not for furniture per se.  I don't think I've ever run into a single reference for furniture made of it.
                       
                      Chas.
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      Sent: Friday, January 09, 2004 7:20 PM
                      Subject: RE: [medievalsawdust] Re: question

                      Why do you say they would not have used pine?
                       



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                    • C N Schwartz
                      I wonder why. Certainly, the pine tree available were nothing like what would be found in North America, post Medieval Times. They might have been available
                      Message 10 of 19 , Jan 10, 2004
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                        I wonder why.  Certainly, the pine tree available were nothing like what would be found in North America, post Medieval Times.   They might have been available a thousand years earlier.  But there is no denying that Pine is has as good or better strength to weight ratio as many/most hardwoods.  More importantly, if I had to saw lumber from a log with steel blades made in 1200, I'd rather be sawing pine.  The tree quality would have to be pretty low. with lots of knotty areas, to dissuade me from pitsawing pine. 
                         
                        But it makes no sense that oaks were high quality and pines were low quality in any given period.  If you want to save labor, avoid sawing, then riving a log is a possibility, and again pine can be rived almost as well at oak. 
                         
                        I don't think we should project our modern prejudices and preferences into this conjecture.  And I'm not even sure when _I_ and projecting them.  I do know of in period references to softwoods.  A lot of the high relief carving was done with softwoods.  
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: James Winkler [mailto:jrwinkler@...]
                        Sent: Saturday, January 10, 2004 11:18 AM
                        To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [medievalsawdust] Re: question

                        Pine was a 'junk wood'... (... at least as far a what I've read)...  it had its uses but not for furniture per se.  I don't think I've ever run into a single reference for furniture made of it.
                         
                        Chas.
                      • thorkatlamana
                        Pine is to this day the second most prevalent tree grown in the Scandinavian countries. It is also very similar to our Northern Pine grown here in the US. I
                        Message 11 of 19 , Jan 10, 2004
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                          Pine is to this day the second most prevalent tree grown in the
                          Scandinavian countries. It is also very similar to our Northern Pine
                          grown here in the US. I bought some Swedish Spruce (labeled as
                          imported from Sweden) at home depot one day (I have no idea why they
                          were importing it, but there it was!), and I couldn't tell the
                          difference from what I had been buying from the US northern white
                          pine pile. Now, I am lumping pine and spruce together a little bit
                          even though they are different trees. The boards are very similar,
                          but I "think" the branches are smaller and closer together in spruce.
                          Not sure. I don't ever use yellow pine.

                          With that in mind, I really think they used a lot of pine and spruce,
                          but since it is a soft wood, and extremely acidic, it just didn't
                          last 1000 years to prove it.

                          I have experience in guilding as I used to restore antique picture
                          frames by building up and recarving broken out carved gesso segments.
                          I would very definitely use gesso as the base sealer for the wood and
                          then use a red base coat on that before I applied the gold leaf.

                          The suggestion of egg tempera is a good one. I'm glad to hear the
                          information that oil pigments wasn't done quite yet in the 14th
                          century (although it's hard to imagine that someone didn't put a
                          pigment into oil). I will use egg tempera for the remainder of the
                          box, and then guild the carving. I do want the box to fit into a
                          very elegant Lady's camping kit and stand out as a special piece. If
                          guilding could have been done then, she would have had it.
                          I'll post a picture of the finished box when I get it done if it
                          turns out ok.
                          Thanks for all the input.
                          Thorkatla
                        • Joseph Hayes
                          ... Take another look at Mobel Europas vol 1, especially the stuff from Austria, Switzerland, and Southern Germany. Trying to translate is woods was a pain,
                          Message 12 of 19 , Jan 10, 2004
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                            --- James Winkler <jrwinkler@...> wrote:
                            > Pine was a 'junk wood'... (... at least as far a what I've read)...
                            > it had its uses but not for furniture per se. I don't think I've
                            > ever run into a single reference for furniture made of it.

                            Take another look at Mobel Europas vol 1, especially the stuff from
                            Austria, Switzerland, and Southern Germany.

                            Trying to translate is woods was a pain, but I figured it out by going
                            from German (zirbe), to Latin (Pinus cembra), then to English (Swiss
                            Stone Pine).

                            Here's one from the book made of zirbenholz:
                            http://www.midrealm.org/ballaeban/ulrich/ans/stuff/pine_chest.jpg

                            According to the translation the plinth is not attached to the box.

                            Ulrich


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                          • Tom Rettie
                            ... In Leon Battista Alberti s 15th century treatise entitled De Re Aedificatoria (On the Art of Building), he writes, For interior furnishings (doors, beds,
                            Message 13 of 19 , Jan 10, 2004
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                              > Pine was a 'junk wood'... (... at least as far a what I've read)...
                              >it had its uses but not for furniture per se. I don't think I've ever run
                              >into a single reference for furniture made of it.

                              In Leon Battista Alberti's 15th century treatise entitled De Re
                              Aedificatoria (On the Art of Building), he writes, "For interior
                              furnishings (doors, beds, tables, seats, and so on) the fir is excellent,
                              particularly when it comes from the slopes of the Italian Alps; it is by
                              nature a very dry wood, which holds glue extremely well."

                              A 1320 English inventory records huge tables "well boarded...of fur."
                              Chinnery references at least two surviving English chests dating c. 1440.
                              Chinnery also discusses a brisk trade of "Danske" chests (spruce or fir)
                              being imported in the 15th and 16th centuries. That's in addition to the
                              bulk wood trade (it was also popular for paneling).

                              While the softwoods may not have survived as well as more durable species
                              such as oak, there's certainly evidence they were in use throughout the
                              Middle Ages.

                              Regards,

                              Tom R.

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                            • C N Schwartz
                              Dunno if guilding was done in 14th C Europe. The only way I ve seen guilding (or is it gilding?) done with gold leaf involved shellac. Not so much a
                              Message 14 of 19 , Jan 10, 2004
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                                Dunno if guilding was done in 14th C Europe. The only way I've seen
                                guilding (or is it gilding?) done with gold leaf involved shellac. Not so
                                much a historically recognized finish from that period.

                                Is there a another way to guild something besides with that little
                                comb/brush and shellac? I'd love to know.




                                -----Original Message-----


                                I have experience in guilding as I used to restore antique picture
                                frames by building up and recarving broken out carved gesso segments.
                                I would very definitely use gesso as the base sealer for the wood and
                                then use a red base coat on that before I applied the gold leaf.
                              • Don Bowen
                                ... Gesso and a small knife then burnish. Bookbinders have been doing this for centuries. Awl Knotted Up - Custom woodworking Don Bowen
                                Message 15 of 19 , Jan 10, 2004
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                                  At 1/10/2004, you wrote:

                                  Is there a another way to guild something besides with that little
                                  comb/brush and shellac?  I'd love to know.

                                  Gesso and a small knife then burnish.  Bookbinders have been doing this for centuries.

                                  Awl Knotted Up  - Custom woodworking
                                  Don Bowen                      donb@...
                                  Valley Center, CA             http://www.braingarage.com
                                • Arthur Slaughter
                                  In C&I a leaf was often Applied over an animal glue based Gesso. By simply breathing heavily on it you can mositen the glue enough to take the leaaf
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Jan 10, 2004
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                                    In C&I a leaf was often Applied over an animal glue based Gesso. By simply breathing heavily on it you can mositen the  glue enough to take the leaaf wonderfuly. Also in Illuminations ground gold was mixed with a medium and applied with a brush.  Personaly I find this later method to be less than brilliant as compared to actual leaf.  I am totaly unfamiliar with gold leafing furniture though.
                                    Finn
                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                    Sent: Saturday, January 10, 2004 4:51 PM
                                    Subject: [medievalsawdust] gold leaf



                                    Dunno if guilding was done in 14th C Europe.  The only way I've seen
                                    guilding (or is it gilding?) done with gold leaf involved shellac.  Not so
                                    much a historically recognized finish from that period.

                                    Is there a another way to guild something besides with that little
                                    comb/brush and shellac?  I'd love to know.




                                    -----Original Message-----


                                    I have experience in guilding as I used to restore antique picture
                                    frames by building up and recarving broken out carved gesso segments.
                                    I would very definitely use gesso as the base sealer for the wood and
                                    then use a red base coat on that before I applied the gold leaf.




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