Sunday, January 18, 2009

Saving Stuff

A few weeks ago when I posted about a project I was working on sorting old family photos, the folks over at 1928 Northrop Bungalow referred me to a book called Saving Stuff by Don Williams and Louisa Jagger. Mr. Williams is the Senior Conservator over at the Smithsonian Institution. It doesn't get more pedigreed than that.

This book sounded right up my alley. Not only do I have boxes & boxes of old family photographs, I also have lots of vintage furniture, silver, dishes, art, lighting, newspaper clippings, linens, vinyl (before mp3s, cds and even cassettes...for the youngsters in the crowd)......and that's just what I brought to StuccoHouse.

I ordered it off of Amazon. Less than $12.

The book arrived and I've been reading through it. The author has a mildly snarky way of writing that is very amusing to read. I even read the chapter on saving sports memorabilia - as if. It's filled with 15 chapters of common sense information and step-by-step instructions to save just about anything and has a nice list of suppliers in the back.

One of my big pet peeves is people who say they need to "feed" their "dried out" wood furniture and then slather it with oil. It makes me cringe. I knew I liked the author when I opened the chapter on furniture and the first thing he says is "Do not polish with oil. No debate. No 'other people have differing opinions.' No negotiation. Trust me."

If you have old stuff to save, recommended.


M'elle said...

Ok... so what do you do to old wooden furniture that appears dry? Anything?

StuccoHouse said...

A good paste wax will protect the wood and give a nice boost to the finish.

The quote the book's author....

"Don's Tip:
Old Wive's Tale
'Furniture needs to be fed [most people interpret this as furniture needing oils and other nutrients] to keep it from getting old. Let me break it to your gently in hushed tones: Furniture is dead. Dead, I tell you. Dead! What furniture does need is to be protected from the elements and, to be perfectly frank, you. Traditional furniture polish mixtures of linseed oil, turpentine, beeswax, and vinegar are especially bad because they darken with age.'"

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