Sometime in the 1970s, Doug was walking around Clarence Corner shops (Brisbane) when he came across two pretty shabby carver chairs in the window of Rickwood’s second-hand shop.
Being a woodworker, he looked beyond the years of built-up crud and could see the potential. He bought them for $30 and loaded them, with great difficulty, into the back seat of his beetle VW. When he got them into his workshop, he ran a plane over the top rail. As he had suspected, the timber was a stunning piece of Queensland maple.
Doug spent many hours cleaning up one of the chairs, removing the beige vinyl covering on the seat and replacing it with an orange and gold brocade. The second chair, still unrestored, became his seat in the workshop; just the right height for working on the Baroque bows he was making at the time.
Both chairs moved with us from Brisbane to Maleny in 1995. The restored chair made it into the dining room; the unrestored chair became a handy clothes hanger in the bedroom.
One day, Doug asked if I could make tapestry covers for the seats. (I had already done cushions for the four dining chairs.)
We asked our friend, Steve, from Firefly Handcrafts if he would take on the job of restoring the woodwork of the second carver chair. The race was on for me to finish the tapestry covers before Steve finished the restoration. Serendipitously, we finished them both within the same month.
We took the seats to our local upholsterer to reconstruct the sagging webbing and stuffing and stretch my tapestry over the seats.
This week, we had a rather special meal. Steve in his chair. Doug in his.
Thank you, wonderful friends.
ps If anyone has the matching dining chairs, we would love to hear from you.