The Society of American Period Furniture Makers

Tools and Techniques => Finishing => Topic started by: CBWW on March 26, 2016, 07:36:55 PM

Title: Ruhlman/ art deco
Post by: CBWW on March 26, 2016, 07:36:55 PM
Would anyone have any info as to what the finish is(or the most common) on original art deco furniture built in the early 1900's?  Shellac?  lacquer? 

Thanks

Title: Re: Ruhlman/ art deco
Post by: rac50 on March 26, 2016, 11:41:58 PM
Some years back I received a high end commission to reproduce a pair of Biedermeier cabinets for a collector. My research, besides several books took me to NYC to a couple of stores specializing in the genre as well as the MMA. I visited several other shops in Miami and Sarasota, Fl. My conclusion, as to the finish, was that a high gloss French polish was the appropriate finish.
Title: Re: Ruhlman/ art deco
Post by: rac50 on March 26, 2016, 11:58:12 PM
Another person who specializes in Ruhlman furniture is Frank Pollaro at http://pollaro.com/ There was an article in FWW some years back indicating he used a hand rubbed varnish, which I suspect is because it is a far more durable finish.
Title: Re: Ruhlman/ art deco
Post by: CBWW on March 27, 2016, 09:51:20 AM
Nice pieces.  For Biedermeier pieces I would use shellac but French Art Deco is different.   My first thought was shellac as well but on the pieces that are inlayed with ivory, mother of pearl, lighter elements etc., blonde shellac will impart a yellowish hue to the white pieces.  So French art deco was early 1900's.  Was lacquer available? 

As far as pollaro, saying he uses a hand rubbed varnish is about as vague as you can get(no offense)  I suspect he is using some sort of clear lacquer which is a varnish and rubbed out etc...
Title: Re: Ruhlman/ art deco
Post by: rac50 on March 27, 2016, 08:36:44 PM
By mentioning Mr. Pollaro, I was pointing you to both his website to view and contact if you so desired. The Fine Woodworking article article describes in his own words his finishing process. One other person you might like to contact, and or research, is our recent cartouche award winner, Patrick Edwards. He spent some of his early years working in France and would be an accurate source as well. Their experience was helpful to me as I proceeded with the commission. Good Luck.
Ross
Title: WoW!
Post by: awleonard on March 28, 2016, 09:11:33 AM
I'd love to hear more about how you built those!  Beautiful work!