Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My wooden Tiger

 I found this today at Goodwill, my favorite place to shop.  They had just wheeled out a new cart and this was on it.  It is wood marquetry and I love it.  It is unframed and on a plywood base.  There are some spots in the stream, down by the left hand ferny area.  I don't know how to fix this without damaging the glue that holds all the pieces together.  I will figure it out though.  It is approx 20 x30 inches, and I took it to a framing place.  $300-400, depending on the frame.  I think I will do it myself.  I do have a miter box!  There is some brush work in the chin and whisker area and on the leaves and trunks of the trees.  I am very happy with this $10 find!


seybernetx said...

Nice tiger. Are those spots for sure missing wood? From the photo, they look more like runs in varnish.

Kate said...

They are varnish runs, the whole piece was poorly finished. Amazing, considering the work that went into it. I want to fix it, but don't want to do anything that will loosen any of the pieces. I also don't want to take it down so far that I lose the painted spots on the leaves of the trees and on the Tiger's chin and wiskers.

seybernetx said...

Well, if there is some one in the area who does furniture or art restoration or something similar, that would probably be the best folks to talk to.

Failing that, my first attempt would probably be to get some fine (250grit or thereabouts) sandpaper and carefully sand off the runs and any other scratches or nicks, then go over the whole piece with steel wool to smooth and even out the sanding. If there is enough vanish for that (and there usually is) that might be all you would need to do. That should give you a smooth, low-gloss finish you might decide you like. If that doesn't suit you, you could put a layer of varnish on the tiger to restore the slick finish varnish usually supplies.

I agree, stripping the varnish could be a problem. Most strippers softer the old finish, and then you use a putty knife or something similar to scrape off the loosened finish. It would be real easy to catch and lift random pieces of the art.

Good luck.