In the Parlour of the Bookshop we serve Coffee and Tiffin, whilst customers browse. The table is always covered with a cloth. Here's why;
It is actually a rather good sturdy late Victorian table- which I bought from the old Post Office in Freshwater Bay, when the family were selling up. The dark wood doesn't go with the feel of 'lightening-up' the bookshop, so it's in for a bit of Webster treatment...
First of all I mixed up some Pink-hued off-white with my trusty Websters chalk powder, and applied a coat of that. Once dry, I applied a coat of another off-white- this time with a cold blue hue to it. Then it was time to add my centre-piece.
We've got a penchant for Red Squirrels here on the Isle of Wight, and in November I managed to spy one in Afton Marshes as a subject for my painting that month. Shortly afterwards, I found some fab 'Collective Noun' Red Squirrel cushions and cross-body bags, which sell well in the shop along with some cards I made from my painting. A lovely customer had told me about a Sanderson Vintage Victorian wallpaper depicting Squirrels and Doves- and she kindly presented me with an off-cut this week.
Taking my off-cut, I cut some of the detail away, and coloured-in the Red Squirrel with a copper-wax stick to make him more prominent in the design. Then I used PVA glue to coat the paper, and the off-cuts. Once dry- I peeled away some of the back of the paper to give the image an aged effect. Then, using PVA, I applied the image to the centre of the table.
Whilst the glue was still wet, I tore pieces out of the design to add to an overall impression of a picture that had been a part of the table for ever. I took the off-cuts and glued these around the outsides of the image to extend the pattern. Then it was time for some elbow grease. First I waxed the table with a light oak coloured wax, and once dry- used fine grade wire wool to polish it- and reveal some of the paaint layers, and wood-grain beneath. I then added a layer of walnut tinted wax, to the drawers and insides of the table-legs. After a good polish, I then applied two further coats of clear wax, and a pleasing patina was emerging.
Lastly- I used a combination of water-colour and oil paint to colour the Red Squirrel again, and similarly the Dove. Two tacks were nailed as their eyes. The painting was then sealed and given a bit of a gleam with a coat of nail varnish- just on the Squirrel and Dove.
Then, the Victorian ladder-backed chairs were given a bit of tlc with some walnut tinted wax and buffing.
Another piece of the 'lightening-up' jigsaw completed.