01 French Polishing
The Complete Course
Duration: This course can be taken externally by purchasing the DVD and ebook. This guide includes step by step instructions & demonstration of the process as well as sections on common mistakes , remedies and associated tool maintenance.
Price: $55 for ebook and accompanying DVD
includes 110 minute DVD covering the whole process & fully illustrated ebook (download sample PDF above)
French Polishing became widely used after the Great Exhibition in 1851 where it was introduced to a very receptive public and created the bright, optimistic aesthetic which defined the Victorians.
The time consuming nature of the process meant it was generally reserved for only the highest quality and most valued pieces of furniture. It created a lustrous quality unmatched by any other finishing processes.
AN OUTLINE OF THE PROCESS
This skilled and time consuming process involves a specific method of application of shellac to prepared wood surface.
A level coating of shellac is applied then burnished using a especially shaped cloth soaked in alcohol and shellac and lubricated with linseed oil. The oil is then removed leaving an exceptionally smooth surface
The process requires a fair bit of practice & experience to develop the co-ordination required to achieve the best results. You will then gain feeling for the process, understanding how to adapt to changing material properties and potential problems as the process progresses.
The images below show some of the tools and materials involved.
Learn skills to sympathetically restore furniture in a manner which can be reversed if required so as to not devalue the piece
Courses to suit all skill levels Friendly, supportive, no pressure learning environment.
Students will be introduced to various types of finishing methods used in antique furniture.
Students will learn about different solvents & how they are used with traditional shellac, wax, varnish such as Copal and how these solvents can be used to test and identify the finish prior to cleaning and reviving. Students will also be shown which solvent is appropriate to safely remove soiling and more recently applied stains or colouring.
Students will be shown how to formulate a suitable surface revival solution and learn traditional stain removal techniques. Wax polishing will be discussed with an emphasis on technique and the type and formulation of wax to be used.
02 Basic Furniture Reviving
03 introduction to traditional staining & polishing
This course will start with an introduction to dyes, earth colour pigments, oils stain, and water stain and the advantages and disadvantages of all the colours and pigments will be demonstrated.
Students will then be shown which mordent to use to fix the colours in place, when to use transparent dyes, how to use earth colours, how to colour up repairs and the basics of colour matching and toning.