I finished the rocker this morning. It was meant to be. I made it too short to be a regular, run of the mill, chair.
Tessie is pleased with the finished product. She posed for the photo and then ran for her sign making supplies. The first one says, "No sitting in this chair....MINE!"
I will take better photos later, but I had to get to work on the beginner's chair and supply list.
Several years ago, I ordered the book "Wicker Furniture for the Dolls' House", by Sheila Smith. It is an English book and out of print now.
I just wanted to see what other people were doing. It is very basic and I often recommend it to people just starting in wicker.
I have never used her method or the supplies that she uses, because I like to work with finer thread and walnut or cherry wood for the bases.
She uses mat board( Mount board in England). I decided that, since everybody has access to this and not all have access to hardwoods, I would try it and let you come along for the ride. I am designing the chair myself and it is not intended for resale.
I wouldn't really recommend it for pieces that you want to last, but for first timers it would be a good way to start without a lot of expense. Feel free to upgrade to basswood, walnut or cherry if you want it to last. No balsa wood PLEASE!
Anyway, here's a list of what you need. I am using all of the other materials that I usually use for showing beginners how to do this.
1. #10 crochet cotton and a scrap of mat board or illustration board.
2. fabric covered floral wire in two sizes....#22 or 20 for legs and #26 or 28 for the spokes. It all depends on what your local stores carry.
3. Aileen's Fast Grab or Tacky
4. Pin vice with two bits to drill the two different size holes. If you don't have that, a needle tool will do in a pinch, but it is much harder to work with, especially for the big hole.
6. Pencil for marking.
7. Bee's wax! This is very important for keeping the thread smooth and under control.
Note, some people use waxed linen thread. It is very expensive and hard to find. If you want to use that after you learn you could probably find it on the net. The cotton is just a personal preference.
I am just using what I have on hand. I would recommend a harder thread than this. The Coats and Clark balls of # 10 are pretty good. DMC Cebella, like I used on the rocker is better, but more expensive.
OK. To get started, cut a 2" by 2" square of mat board.
Round the two back corners. I go two squares in and two squares down and then draw a curve between.
I put two holew in the front corners for the front leg and inset the back legs to the end of the back curve. I do ten evenly spaced smaller holes on the front edge, between the legs. Then twelve smaller holes on either side following the curve at the back. Last are seven small holes in the center back section.
Now I cut 31 four inch lengths of small wire and 4 four inch lengths of the larger wire. Then I cut 10 two inch pieces for the front.
As I said a couple of days ago. Start with the leg pieces. In this case(regular chair), mark the legs at 1 1/4" and insert them so that the mark is at the top of the base at the hole. Put glue around them on the bottom of the base. Set it upright on the table to see that it is level.
Let this dry.
Then do the rest of the wires, Pulling them up about an eighth of an inch shorter than the legs, so that the chair will be sitting on the legs. Again, put glue around the wires on the bottom side of the base. Make sure that you wipe some of the excess off if you get messy. You will be wrapping thread around these and you want it to look neat.
I am stopping here. That will force the drying time for the wires to lengthen to 24 hours.
Tomorrow Tessie will start teaching the weaving part, if I can get her off her rocker...No wait....That didn't sound right. She is already off her rocker....I should have said get her out of her chair...One of us will continue the lessons.
See you then.
Fifty Percent Success . . .
3 hours ago