Words of late artist Frank Howell...I totally relate!

"There are few days off and no retirement from this entanglement of knowledge, passion and vision that will be molded and converted into creative expression. There are no guarantees of acceptance, understanding or reward, but...the noise inside the mind never ceases. I will paint today, tonight and for as many tomorrows as I am given..." Words of the late artist Frank Howell...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Painting a Folk Art Spool Corner Cabinet

I just returned from a short trip to Birmingham where I spent a couple of days.  I had a chance to visit a few antique shops, and I noticed many pieces of spool furniture...everywhere I went. Maybe they have always been plentiful, but I've just never noticed that many.  Anyway, I had actually been painting a piece of my very own last weekend, and that is what I was going to share today...So, if you like what you see, take a trip to Birmingham (or your own town!) and look around.  They are out there, and they are very affordable.

Before I get into the details of my project, I want to share a little history of spool furniture, which is now known as a type of "folk art".  

    folk art, also folk-art (fōk′ärt′) n.
    Art originating among the common people of a nation or region and usually reflecting their traditional culture, especially everyday or festive items produced or decorated by unschooled  artists.

It turns out that our ancestors were very thrifty and talented with DIY projects long before Pinterest and blogs!  They saved things that seemed too good to throw out and figured out how to recycle them into something useful.  Many homes had sewing machines in the late 1800s to early 1900s and therefore went through many spools of thread.  Flour sacks were recycled into clothing and quilts...Quilts were also made by hand when a machine wasn't available; many spools of thread were used in the construction of a quilt. Using the spools, they came up with many creative projects...picture frames, boxes, shelves, and furniture.  They used very simple construction techniques, with hand cut pieces of wood, and plywood used as shelves.  The corner shelf units, like mine, were very common.   In constructing them they would insert long threaded rods into the holes of the spools and  secure with nuts to hold everything together. They are not the most stable or sturdy pieces, but are great for accents in our contemporary homes, especially when painted a wonderful eye-catching color!
To see many examples of spool furniture, follow this link:  Spool furniture

Now, on to my project...

A few years ago, I found this piece in our local thrift store for $10!  It had never been painted, and was very sad looking.  I painted it black and took it in to use in the art gallery that I co-owned for several years.  It was a perfect display piece...When I decided to get out of the gallery business, my business partner asked me to take it home! She had never been very fond of the piece, and I LOVED it, so home with me it went...and the black was perfect for my "then" house...but not anymore.  

Working with my new "color board", I decided to repaint it in the blue that has shown up on some other pieces.  

It took two coats to cover the black paint, and that was pretty much what I expected.  It still took just one can to complete the job.

I put it in place, in the corner of the game room/pool table area to let the paint cure.  

I was happy with the overall new look, but didn't like the way the edges of the plywood looked...spray paint never seems to completely cover those rough edges of plywood.  So, after brainstorming...what to do, what to do... I decided to rub an ink pad along the edges to give it a silver sparkle!

Now, it's just perfect!  Look for more pics when I feature the completely redecorated space.

Now, for a fun little "happy"...
When I came home, my two cats were sleeping, all snuggled up together like always...
So sweet...Just wanted to share.  They make me smile.

Sunshine and Moonbeam
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