Sunday, July 1, 2018

To Tangle an End Table...

This table/lamp combination has occupied the same corner of our front room for over a decade. It is pictured here against my newly painted walls flanked by a framed pastel of my mother's waiting to be rehung and my "I'll master this some day" dulcimer.

It was bequeathed to me by an elderly neighbor when she downsized to a smaller home many years ago.
I loved its unique kidney shape and brass accents, but some minor updates were in order to make it usable in our home.  The original lamp shade was tattered and the paint had yellowed with age.
An expert at our local lamp shade store used the metal frame to create a beautiful new covering.  The person I hired to refinish the table unfortunately did a passable, but lackluster job however.  As a result, even though we have used it to display framed family photographs, repainting it was something I always meant to do.

Finally, this June, I made the time - in true tangling style.

I took photos for most of the process and post them below along with my design ideas.  If you have any questions after reading along, please enter them in the comment section and I will fill in any requested details.

The first order of business was to replace the Mogal light socket with a standard one.  The Mogal lamp base was very large and today's light bulbs did not fit.  My very handy Dad rewired it with a standard light socket and even added a new on/off switch - no easy task!

Next, I sanded and then primed the wood with Kilz2 Primer.  Two coats of white semi-gloss trim paint followed.
Then. I let it sit in the middle of my studio space and stare at me for about a week.

I wondered that since it will keep company with my new "Door-able", (Click here to view), should it match?
Should it be black and white or should I add color?
What color would look best?
I wanted gold accents, but how much gold, and where best to place it?
Did I want it to accent the room, or be a focal point?

My husband and I shopped for chairs to place on either side of the yet-to-be finished piece and chose a gray-ish blue fabric.  Once that decision was made, it was an easy pick to add a lovely shade of blue - along with black and gold - to my color pallet.  The accent paints I used included Martha Stewart's Liquid Gilding and Home Decor Magellan Blue, as well as a black gloss acrylic paint.

I began with larger checks on the front section of the shelves, painted the base underneath blue, the legs black . added gold accents in the carved divots down either side of the front legs and the rounded lip on the bottom of the lower shelf.

I snapped this photograph of the progress ~

In true Zentangle fashion, I dove right in without measuring or practice.  The larger checked sections were completed with a wide flat brush.  I painted the smaller checks with a short flat brush.  

My sweet friend, Joanne Fink, had just returned from a calligraphy conference in Chicago and gave me one of her newly acquired brushes.  I fell in love with it the minute I held it in my hand - a sable 1/4" flat brush, just the ticket to create a small checkered pattern.

First, I painted one square in the approximate middle of the space.

Then I added a square to either side of the initial one leaving about the same width of white space between them.

To add the second row, I positioned the brush between two squares and brushed in an upward motion to create half of a new square ~

followed by a downward stroke to finish the shape.  By painting this two step process to create each square, I eliminated the need to measure or add a second coat of paint.

I continued... the same manner - upward strokes...

...followed by downward ones until the space was filled.

The blue spaces looked a bit bare, so I used a black paint pen and tangled a diamond shaped grid.

To tie in the gold accents, I added dots on the intersecting lines.  The gold paint was quite thin so in order to prevent the dots from running, I wedged the table between a chair and my kitchen table to hold it in place.  I dotted one section at a time, waited about an hour for it to dry, turned it slightly, added another section of dots, and repeated the process until all of the intersecting lines were completed.  
It took most of the day, but I was very pleased with the results.  

Using the same paint pen, I decided to add Flux to the three sides of the support post.  I consulted my friends Sindy P and Julianne - who just happened to stop by - about how light or dense to tangle it.  In the end, I went with my initial hunch - to start from the bottom and taper off as I moved upward.
This proved more difficult than I expected because of the tight spaces and angles.  
This is what the initial lines looked like ~

Wavy, bumpy, not too uniform, my inner doubts started to surface - but just for a moment.  I was tangling after all and there are "no mistakes" and so I soldiered on...

...and added Flux and Tipple until I was happy with the results. Here are three of the fours sections completed ~

These little curved sections just under the neck of the lamp needed something...

... and I added the small checks to tie in with the lower part of the table.

I painted the neck blue and added gold dots.

The trim on the shade looked dated once the table was complete.  Sindy P had the wonderful idea to use ribbon, so I removed the trim and hot glued ribbon - black with white stitching - around the top and bottom of the shade - working on my new "Door-able", of course!

I nailed the brass railings back on the perimeters of the shelves, added the newly trimmed shade, and returned the table/lamp to its corner in my new art space.  Here it is unlit ~

And this is what it looks like illuminated ~

As with so many other projects I have tackled since learning and subsequently practicing the Zentangle Method, I was more courageous diving into this one.

In the past I would have measured, marked, perhaps even created a pattern before picking up a paint brush.  Armed with confidence and sure that however it turned out, it would be just fine, the task was as enjoyable - granted much longer - than tangling a tile.