Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The 100 Club and Making Mesquite Furniture

New Ad Style. What do you think?
I always thought joining the 100 Club of anything was an honor or privilege. I'm still trying to see the honor, the privilege or anything positive about living through 75+ days of temperatures OVER 100 degrees Fahrenheit. I mean REALLY this is ridiculous!  Lou Quallenberg continues to make mesquite furniture through this scorching heat, in a shop without an airconditioner, day after day.  It is unrelenting with no relief in sight and a large project deadline creeping ever steadily closer and closer.

75+ days over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and no relief in sight!!
We won't go through another Texas summer without a swimming pool.  I'll even pay to have water shipped in to fill it if I have to.  We are currently bailing our bathwater to save a few of our trees. It is amazing how much water runs down the drain wasted so don't let me get started about flushing toilets....

This may end up being the first year that we do not have a mesquite furniture piece entered in the Texas Furniture Makers Show since we started showing there in 2005.  Lou won Best Art Furniture in 2005 and Best Texas Style Furniture for the past three years consecutively 2008,2009,& 2010. We are busy and that is a very good thing. We feel blessed. Besides it is just too hot to do ANYTHING. So the show pieces get put on the way back burner while the commissioned pieces get built and delivered at the slow moving, sweaty,  hot and tired pace.  

We will certainly attend the 12th Annual Texas Furniture Makers Show and are making plans to catch Thea Marx's seminar "How to Market Your Work without a Big Budget" & "Western Design: The Old, the New and Why It's Western."   We really like Thea Marx and ALL that she has done to promote Contemporary Western Design.  She is the reason we entered the British Airways Face of Opportunity Contest and while we did not get much of a chance to visit in London at the Face to Face Conference it was great knowing she was there working her western style magic on the United Kingdom, at Harrods and I know she charmed them in Paris as well.

Lou Quallenberg Clamping the Mesquite Bench Back Rest
I thought I would share a few photos of the current mesquite furniture project taking up most of the space in the shop these days.  Lou is working on the mesquite benches for the private chapel in Bandera.  They will sit curved, facing the alter and the Dancing Trees.

Solid Mesquite Slabs for the Bench Seats
They each have a slight curve on the seat and back rest. The back rest on each bench is composed of four slices of mesquite wood that are 9/32" thick. They are cut and then epoxied together and shaped into the curve. The same process is used on the base apron to match the curve of the seat. It is also used on four other smaller pieces that serve as braces for both accent and strength.

They are really taking shape and coming along.  Lou's God Son Travis will be visiting from New Jersey  for a good portion of September and we hope he will be able to lend a helping hand on this job.  Just hope working with mesquite in the Texas heat does not do him in.
Barney with Mesquite Bench (partially assembled & clamped together)