"A chair is a very difficult object. A skyscraper is almost easier. That is why Chippendale is famous."
— Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Sometimes I embark on projects which I can see are going to be incredibly difficult, or at least very challenging. This was certainly the case with four dining chairs which looked to be around 100 years old and were brought to me for restoration. The leather inserts on the back were thin and on two chairs were worn completely through at the bottom corners, as can be seen in the accompanying photos.
However, my client told me that she didn't want the chairs to look perfect but rather that they retain their old and worn look, and so I had the challenging task of repairing the damaged leather panels rather than replacing them entirely. Once the repairs were completed, I carefully masked off all the exposed wood to protect it during the recolouring and refinishing process. The final result was very pleasing and my client was delighted.