Friday, May 22, 2009

This Time Last Year

I was out at my grandparents' ranch outside of Breckenridge, Texas, getting hitched. I am just as happy today to be married to this wonderful woman. We spent our honeymoon in the beautiful country beach setting that is the North Shore of Hawaii (a lifetime dream of both of ours). My wife took this picture of some of the greatest Tiki's on the island (this is one of the three) on the north west side of the island.

Being that the first year is the 'paper' anniversary, I thought I would commission my good friend, Scott Krakowski to do one of his beautiful wood cuts for the occasion. Here is the woodcut in progress...

And here is the black and white version of what will eventually be colorized....

This man does amazing work. I really hope he continues to pursue this realm of art. I am so excited to get the colorized version and was totally blown away by the black and white (which will of course also be framed). I will also post pics when they are framed. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Otis Dozier prints

Well, I just got these done. Everything seemed to go together very nicely. Just thought I would post up some pictures of a little of the process and the final product if anyone's interested in seeing them. Here's a few shots of the framed pieces......

Indian Corn

Passage to the Sea


And that is just a few. Here is some of the process..
All matted up and mounted (to the mat using preservation corners so there is no tape touching the art), ready to have the glass cut and put on and the frame added....

And here is the frame after it's been mitered and joined. And then the final adding of the frame and the fit up (backing and hangers applied). This is probably a serious over-simplification of the process but it might give you more of an idea of how it works. Hope y'all enjoyed it. I really enjoyed framing these.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Silvertone 1661

One of my latest ebay finds. I have done old radio cabinet restorations for a little while now as my furniture refinishing skills led me into that field as well. I have always loved old radios/consoles/reel to reels/tv's and it's really rewarding to see one of them come back to life. This is a Silvertone Model 1661 from about 1940. I will have one of the radio techs I know go through the chassis and make sure it is in good working order. All of the labels and schematics are intact so that should make it a little easier to work with. It also has a really cool round loop antenna on the side of the chassis. It is not in bad shape as far as the cabinet goes, but could use a little refinishing because of a few deep scratches and just a general build up of muck and degeneration of the finish so I will do that while the chassis is out. Stay tuned for more pictures of it as I get into it. I think it's a real beauty.

-Ok. Just got this one finished and put back together. It sounds amazing and I'm really happy with the way it turned out. What a beaut.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Passage to the Sea

I Just got these in from one of my modern dealers the other day to frame. I don't do as much framing these days as I used to. I seem to do more in the furniture realm, but I still do it and I feel especially privelaged to have these in my possession. I feel like these really deserved a good framing. They are as they say, only prints, but these are very hard to come by.

These were printed by UT Austin in the 50's. Otis Dozier is a very important Texas artist that I did'nt know of. (I feel very inept for not knowing this btw). This is definitely something I will seek out more of though. These are amazing prints. I have since seen some other works of his online, still difficult to come by and they are all very nice, but these abstracts are amazing and especially rare to find.

I think it is especially unusual for prints these old not to have been framed, and specifically not to have been framed badly, meaning they would have yellowing from being framed with acidic mats or backing materials, or tears, or bad taping jobs. This series of prints has absoloutely none of that, which makes them even more rare.

I have seen way too much bad framing from taking old pieces apart to re-do them. That is why the mere mention of a certain generic framing company makes my stomach turn and my blood begin to boil. I have opened up way too many otherwise beautiful prints only to see that they are hinged with scotch tape, or even worse, masking tape and everything under the mat has turned a dingy yellow.

It is my opinion that if you want to frame something, then it should be done right (as is pretty much the case with anything I undertake). This is why I will try and frame these with the loving care they truly deserve. I use acid free materials with everything for this very reason. I'll also use preservation corners to mount it rather than tape, so hopefully they will last another 50 years. They will be for sale at Sputnik Modern when they are done. Hopefully they will end up in good hands. I will enjoy looking at them while I have them.

(I will also post some pictures up in a few days when I get these matted/framed for anybody who wants to take a gander)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Surfin' Bird

designed by Gibbings for Widdicomb

Somehow this little table makes me wish I was still going back to the north shore this year. Times are tight though. I have restored many Gibbings pieces, but this is highly unusual and it's the first one of it's kind I have seen. The Gibbings pieces are always a challenge but I think this one turned out pretty nice. I think the Duke might even appreciate the design of it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hold On, I'm Coming

I Finally got this back.

It's a Motorola T5544. No refinishing on this one (the finish is a blonde/limed oak finish) , but I thought it was worthy of a spot. I sent it out with our man who does the repairs on old tv's/radios/consoles a while back and it's been totally restored. The picture is great and the sound is amazing. I originally purchased it from parking lot sale behind one of my favorite local stores, Lula B's for about 20 bucks. I remember when I first turned it on, there was a little sound and a fuzzy picture of the Twilight Zone just beginning (totally appropriate) but it needed some work and I didn't know anyone at the time who could do the job.

Fast forward to 8 years later and here it is. (that is Sam from Sam & Dave on the screen). It now has a hook up (like our Philco Predicta, which I might gab on about later) so I can hook up cable (don't miss the color), DVD player or VHS. This (pic) is from a VHS called Soul Deep.

These are great for old movies, music videos, like another one of my favorites, the STAX/VOLT REVUE : LIVE IN NORWAY (watched it again this weekend), which has amazing performances and no (as much as all of the info is good) gabbing through it, just a great live show with Booker T and the MG's backing the whole show and they are at the top of thier game.

This is a Modern World

I now have a Cell Phone and Blog. Yikes. I held out for years on the computer. I am getting rid of my land line this month. It's been like an anchor. I found out (thanks to the cable guy (no, not the show, I hate that show) that my internet and cable only utilize the phone line to get to my home, but that I don't necessarily have to have a dedicated phone line for the line to be utilized for these other things, so I finally decided to drop the land line (not to mention the savings with our 'family' plan). I am still a little scared of the cell phone, but I have used the 'texting' option just for the sheer joy of the random act, although I have yet to learn to use punctuation (and I really hate that too). Welcome to the 90's.
As for this new Blog thing, It will enable me to post some of the more detailed goings on here at the Toshmahal. I hope everyone enjoys it.