I am a French Polisher and Re-finisher – but, I am not a cabinet maker or joiner. I use traditional and modern methods & materials and find the combination of the old skills of the polisher and modern materials can be very exciting and produce interesting and satisfying results. Moreover traditional French Polishing has flexibility making it suitable for a wider variety of uses than other finishing methods and can offer much softer and more subtle results in bringing out and enhancing the natural beauty of wood.
In so many articles in the various trade magazines finishing is dismissed in a few words or sentences or referred to as too big a subject to be covered here and then passed over. It was this altitude that made me decide to run my own specialised courses and to pass on some of the practical experience I have gained over the past 20 years. Things you can read about but cannot actually learn from books, actual experience and discovery, trial and error. Very often quite simple things that have taken a life time to discover.
Almost every job is a new and exciting challenge and there never any time for boredom, particularly in re-finishing and restoring old work because there is ample scope for artistry and creativity and immense job satisfaction. There is very little opportunity for anyone to enter the profession to learn the art or craft of French Polishing today. There is no mysterious hidden art, anyone who is really interested can acquire the necessary skill to finish a fine piece of furniture. The really important thing is ‘Starting off with some real practical workshop experience‘.
A two day course will not make you an expert, but it can start you off on the right road to becoming a real craftsman. Courses are not a series of lectures or demonstrations, they are real workshop experiences taking students through the many stages of real bread and butter polishing work under sympathetic guidance and personal tuition at the student ‘s own pace, in a way no book can ever do, however informative or well written it may be.
Only small groups of students are taken at any one time, so most of the time we are working without stress in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. This is a course of intensive, practical instruction and is very comprehensive. Courses are planned to suit individual requirements and may include:
Traditional French Polishing
Choice of materials / making up the rubber sealing-cutting-back / bodying up / finishing problems and how to deal with them / temperatures / etc.
Restoring existing finishes /cleaning and reviving / colour matching / stain removal / blemishes / etc.
Stripping / repairing / preparation
Waxing / etc.
Email or ring me on 03 52315738 me for more info. I look forward to seeing you at one of my workshops!!
Neville Beechey PO Box 275 Colac 3250 Victoria Australia