This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
We endeavor to have the wood forming the front of each box of smooth pine, with colored streaks and markings of those clear rich tints peculiar to this wood. The extreme edges are either finished with a simple moulding, or if this is not practicable, with ■a border corresponding with the centre, which is thus embellished. Some design suited to the •size of the board is marked out, and cut from thick paper. We have one with a circle in the centre, from which spring, on each side, a pattern of vine, leaves and grapes, larger in the centre and gradually diminishing at the ends, where four corner-pieces, corresponding with the centre, but only one-fourth the size.
These paper patterns are pasted upon the board in proper position, then the ground is either stained with burnt umber, ebonized with a decoction of logwood and a wash of vinegar, in which rusty iron has been kept for several days, or covered with spray or spatter work, in any color preferred. When dry the papers are dampened and removed, and the leaves, tendrils, etc, are then veined and marked with a very fine brush or pen, and the entire surface twice varnished with copal, rubbed down with pulverized pumice stone on a wet flannel pad, washed and re-varnished; this course pursued until a fine polish is secured. The leaves will appear as if tinted with the rich, clear shades of Autumn, and the effect is exceedingly striking, looking like fine inlaid-work.
We have one ebonized with a geometrical border, and an edge of the " Grecian Key, " then curious Japanese figures, instead of the vine, for central embellishment. The wood in this was dark and richly marked, and the effect is surprisingly fine, appearing equal to the finest colored woods.
[Messrs. W. B. Gleason & Co., 212 West Camden St., Boston, have kindly furnished us with some cuts from their Illustrated Catalogue to go with Mrs. Jones' article. - Ed. G. M].