“High Ho, High Ho, it’s off to work I go.”
Well, to be honest as a restaurant “lifer” I have been sneaking shifts bar tending down South at a cool historic inn. It has been amazing to focus on the homestead and the boys this summer.
My crafts have been selling (not as much as one would like but selling all the same,) it has been amazing to have the chance to make things I love and have them appreciated by others.
But a few weeks ago I had the sudden urge to look at craigslist and came across an ad for “antiques restorer” IN MY TOWN! I sent my (completely restaurant based) resume with a short cover letter along with some pictures of my paintings and to my surprise, promptly got a call back.
My dad instilled in us the importance of old things and antiques. My sister and I grew up at auctions and ceaselessly poking around rural antiques shops. As a result I have a fair knowledge of these things and I know way more than anyone needs to about Native American baskets.
I went in for the interview, along the back roads of Acton and was a little shocked to see a brand new road sign off one of the roads:
Ok, that is interesting! Right after the coincidentally named road was this amazing view just yards before I turned up the driveway of my new place of work.
Up the short gravel driveway there was a huge barn, house and studio. Most of the properties on this side of town are old farm houses complete with barn and out buildings so this layout was not unique. What goes on in these little buildings is rather random for our tiny Maine town.
The boss is my kind of guy, he knows what he is doing and it is wonderful to be learning something totally new. The operation is small, only the three of us. They have a shop in Brookline MA. that specializes in “furniture, lighting, fine arts and decoration from the 17th to the mid-20th century.”
There is a large building made of two attached studios that I share with an amazing woodworker. Mine is the painting side.
I am learning how to restore, repair and really appreciate the restraint you need sometimes to maintain the integrity of really cool old things. It can be intimidating to be working on things with such history. For example:
These are wall panels from around the Renaissance, taken from a period mannor and on their way to becoming wall hangings. My job was to match the color along the edges crated when they were cut from the house.
No pressure. They are only older than the USA.
Some days I am stripping paint off of gold and sliver gilded frames and sometimes I am painstakingly trying to match exact colors on repairs of items or paintings.
Or polishing metals.
There is a lot of sanding but I am really enjoying the change in process and procedure. For the fist time since in years I am working in my hometown and learning something new. Plus this is the part of my commute.
I now pass what I have come to think of as ‘my father’s road’ daily. A constant reminder of how much he would have dug what I am doing now. Some days it reminds me of how much I miss him but mostly I am happy to be progressing, changing into to something I never thought I would be.
It is fun to surprise yourself sometimes.