Friday, July 9, 2010

Corbel Madness.......

I FINALLY got another one of these corbel mirrors done--about a year after I made the first one (and promised someone that I would make them one.....I'll never do that again-sorry Jody!).

When I put the first one in the show, I had--no joking--about 20 people that seriously wanted one (at 265.00 a pop no less) so I thought I could find more of them, or 4 matching ones....which was my first mistake
. It is extremely hard to find 4 matching antique corbels! And of course the expense is staggering--4 of these babies will cost you between 160.00 to 260.00 for the set, and that doesn't include your hardware, mirrors, and time.

Around that same time I did find more of this style, but when I got them home they were slightly different sizes, and wouldn't work. Anyway, I decided to have a friend cut some from 2" lumber, thinking how much cheaper they would be.....but discovered it took an enormous amount of time to cut out, file and sand the imperfections out so they would look old, and then comes the problem of doing some sort of paint finish (that would never come close to the patina of the originals)---all of which drives the price high because by then you have 10 hours of work in them!!

So I lost interest, and these got pushed aside, until recently.......

.....I was shopping in Monroe at HODGE PODGE, and was so surprised to see that Wanda had 4 more of my non-matching corbels, and she kindly let me bring in mine to compare on the chance they might match hers, to make 2 sets, and they actually did!!! So I'm back in corbel mirror production......

I secure the backs with a nice sturdy frame if I have one that fits, it is easier to use that as a brace, but brackets and wood strips work too. Below is one of the ones that I had had to be pieced because of the wood widths available.....

Below is a view of an old and new one (I made a smaller template to fit the available wood widths).....I'll put together the other vintage set first, then attempt to do the new ones with some sort of comparable vintage finish (I hate doing the finishes--I once built a great big 2 door jelly cupboard, which took a long time, but then I spent days--probably weeks-- attempting to paint and antique it---- I must have tried 10 different finishes until I got an authentic chippy look on it, and then I needed to get about 1000.00 for it to cover my time and expense! Which didn't happen by the way--shoulda kept it!) If the vintage-look finish doesn't turn out on the new ones, I'll do them chippy black or ???


Prior said...

Wow! I love these... I get you about the cupboard...I have one of those and I wouldn't take less, If I was to sell, so guess I'll keep it. Lezlee

vintagesue said... inspire me!! i can hardly make a cup of coffee these days, so your mirror project has blown me away!! why are corbels so expensive? geeze....there are so many old houses in the south. you'd think they would be cheaper. i spent over $125 on a pair once and thought that was a bargain.
i love all your projects. they truly are one of a kind and so unique.
good luck with the heat this summer.
take care