Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. The most common jobs I do are pressed cane. In the 70s and 80's everyone had "Brady Bunch" dining room chairs with cane backs. They are all breaking due to age. I remove and replace them at a very minimal charge but this is the most common work I do.
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Don't throw any chair out regardless of condition! I have added rungs, repaired breaks with dowels, and taken off layers of paint. These chairs have history and value. You can't replace these old chairs at Ikea.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. Very few chairs can stand the abuse of rocking on the two back legs! Nothing can damage and weaken a chair quicker than this. (Yes, I had teenagers too and they did it constantly). Keeping the four feet on the ground is paramount to chair care and safety.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. Don't spend money on junk furniture! I hesitate doing Ikea or Bombay Co. furniture. It is cheaper to buy new than to invest in this quality. But! Always re-cane and re-rush you antique chairs, heirlooms or furniture with any sentimental value. They are always worth the money.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. Meticulous attention to detail! Every chair is a challenge and receives my complete attention.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. I take before and after pictures of every chair and get great personal satisfaction from each one.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. How long will the seat last? This depends on the usage, climate and other conditions. House humidity has a significant affect. Dry houses dry out cane and rush and also furniture in general. Many cane seats can last 50 years.
Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?
A. I put a pressed cane seat into an old oak rocking chair. A few weeks later the owner brought it back and the seat was torn! After some questioning, they admitted that their son stood on it to reach something and put his foot through it. A new seat was installed.
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. One single strand of hand woven cane installed upside down ruins the finished chair. No chair I work on has an upside down strand or a twisted strand. I have taken whole seats out for one careless strand of cane.
Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. I recently worked on two antique chairs that had layers of paint, two broken rungs and needed new cane seats. These are two of the finest pieces I have worked on and I wish I could leave a picture here.
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. Simple pricing system. This work is all labor and time intensive and the material needed is negligible. Pressed cane is $50.00 for a seat or back regardless of size. Hand woven (the most time consuming) is $2.00 for each hole around the wooden frame of the chair. Super fine cane is $2.50 a hole. Artificial rush seats are $10.00 an inch across the front of the chair. Estimates are given on refinishing and repairs on request. Send me a picture !
Q. What is your greatest strength?
A. I have a capacity for detail! No strand of cane is ever reversed or dirty or improperly spaced. I take them out and do it over again. I take great pride in every chair I work on.
Q. What are you currently working on improving?
A. Constantly looking for samples of better caning material. I look for longer pieces to avoid knots, less stains and marks on the cane and most important stronger cane that doesn't break so easy. I request samples and test them.
Q. Write your own question and answer it.
A. Does a person's weight affect the longevity of a cane or rush chair seat?
No. A 300 pound butt can't do as much damage as the knee of a five year old! It is all about the distribution of weight on the chair. Kids can't kneel on caned chairs !
Q. Write your own question and answer it.
A. Can Caned and rushed seats and backs be repaired rather than replaced?
No. There is no way to repair breaks or holes in woven cane, pressed cane or rush.