A sideboard, which in its better days had been a mahogany bureau, was made by a skilful girl. The three lower drawers were removed, the top drawer being left for the spoons and forks. The doors were made by this same clever girl with tools out of lumber. They were stained mahogany colour. Glass was inserted in the door spaces, and strips of wood to hold the glass in shape were nailed behind the doors. The hinges for the doors, draw-handles, wood, and the glass were bought for less than a dollar, certainly a trifling cost.
The Screen With Oak Frame Is Ornamented By Panels Of Pierced Copper Over Glass, Painted Screens In Low Tones Are Very Decorative.
A few pieces of silver were attractively-arranged on the top of the sideboard, while the lower part was made attractive by pieces of china. An unusual piece of woodwork finished off the top of this interesting piece of furniture, and served as an effective background to set off the china. The skeleton of the old mahogany bureau was utilized by converting it into a practical book-case, the front of one of the drawers forming the base.
Within the last few years amateurs have succeeded in making screens not only for their own homes but have sent them to the various Arts and Crafts Exhibitions, where they bring good prices because of their intrinsic merit.
The wooden screen illustrated is not only very decorative, but shows extremely original treatment. The frame and panels are of oak, filled with brown filler and finished with wax. The frieze consists of favrile glass and copper. The glass is in beautiful shades of yellow and brown, and over this is laid a silhouette of copper. The glass represents the sky and water, and the colours are so selected that the tones of the sky seem reflected in the water.
This effective method of ornamenting a screen is not very difficult for the amateur to attempt. If the craft-worker is skilful in the use of tools and can make the screen, expense can be spared; but if not, the panels can be made by the craft - worker and the screen made by a carpenter.
Sheets of copper can be bought in several sizes, but it would be well to use 26-gauge, as this is thin enough to cut readily with shears. Draw a simple landscape design, one that has large portions of sea and water, so that the glass forms at least half of the picture. Then take a piece of copper, which must be cut larger than the panel necessitates, and nail it firmly to an old table or breadboard. Then trace the design on the panel by means of carbon paper. As this would rub off when the work was in process, it is best to go over the design at once with pen and ink. The parts of the design representing the fields and trees must be hammered, with short even strokes, with a metal respousse hammer, making only slight indentations. When this is done, take the sheet of copper from the board and cut out the horizon line with sharp shears. The delicate parts and the spaces between the trees must be cut with a fret saw.
Bore a hole in the sky-line or water-line with a No. 40 hand drill, and then take a sheet - metal worker's saw, or an ordinary-scroll saw, to cut out the design. Insert the saw, the end being pushed through the metal, and fasten it to the other end. Now hold the metal on the table with the left hand and do the sawing with the right, turning the metal from time to time as the direction of the line changes. The blade of the saw must be held in a vertical position. A little beeswax on it will make it move easily through the metal. When all the spaces have been sawn out, the edges of each opening may require a little filling. The background may be darkened by rubbing paint or sulphate of ammonia on to the copper; some prefer to colour it by putting it in the oven and letting it bake very slowly. The slight toning of the copper makes the design more effective. The screen in the illustration is the natural colour with the exception of a few darkened places, which tend to increase the effectiveness, but if the beginner is timid in attempting too many things at once, the colouring can easily be omitted.
Chair Of Good Simple Construction.
Leather Screen Made By Amateur.
Chair Of Good Simple Construction.
When the perforated and hammered panel is in place the effect is most beautiful, especially when seen with the firelight or sunlight glinting through.
There are many excellent designs for hinges, some of which are very simple, while others are quite complicated. The copper hinges in the screen illustrated are first cut out with shears. The design is traced in the same way as that for the panels, and the rounded edge of the outline is hammered over the edge of the board. A 40-penny nail must be used to make the indentation of the background, which will throw the design in relief. The narrow raised edges show some clever tooling, which may be beyond the scope of the beginner, but the design would be almost as effective made with a nail for the background and the centre with a hammer. This would give the difference in texture, although the raised line would not appear.
The illustration of the leather screen shows some well - tooled leather in russet browns. Copper nails are used to give it a finish, but this beautiful screen is just a monotone in brown. The oak frame is finished with wax, and is rather lighter in shade than the panels. A frieze treatment of trees adds interest to the work.
The panels are first thoroughly wet, and then the design is traced in small portions with a blunt knitting-needle or pencil. It is not necessary to use a carbon. The design must be indented on the leather. When the tracing is removed, it will be sufficiently clear to incise it with one of the sharp modellers. They may be bought for twenty-five cents a-piece. Two modellers are all that are needed for all kinds of leather work. Each modeller has a tool at either end. The sharpest of these may be used for cutting the ivy leaves and veining them. Afterward the design is tinted with either oil paint or colours for burnt woodwork. Russian calf-skin or split cowhide would either of them be suitable for such a screen.
Great care is required in attaching the panels to the under-frame of the screen. If the craft-worker is not prepared to do the work as carefully as it should be done, it would be better to have this done by an upholsterer.