Archive for February, 2011

Boy! it’s been ages since I wrote last. Lots has happened, just not much time to comment on it.

A post in early 2010 was on repairing two Gehry “Cross Check” chairs.

Frank Gehry "Cross Check" arm chair

Frank Gehry "Cross Check" arm chair

I have been surprised on the number of comments from owners who want to know about repairing them. This is a chair that doesn’t seem to stay together very well.  And because everything is held together with glue, these chairs are going to continue to fail.  I’m kind of surprised Knoll, the mfr, doesn’t have a repair service so they can rake in all those after sale dollars — like new car dealers’ repair shops.

And you never know where a repair is going to come from or where it’s going to lead. Recently, I got an email about repairing another chair, but this one has actual physical damage to one of the curved uprights — a completely different fix-it job. The inquiry was from the south east but the chair is in northern Calif.

That repair should be a “go” and along with it I may get a John Makepeace chair to repair too. Now Mr. Makepeace’s chairs & tables have a lot of curves and flow to them. The picture I was sent didn’t look at all like what I expected. In fact, I questioned it’s authenticity (to myself, not to the client).

John Makepeace "Directors Chair"So I wrote John Makepeace. And, kind man that he is, he wrote back and said Yes indeed, the chair is part of a small batch he made back in the 1980’s. Now, the fact that this chair is made by a famous furniture maker kind of changes how I will look at repairing it. (If it hadn’t been his, I would have suggested to the client that they toss it, because the repair would have exceeded the value.) At first I was thinking I would replace the front crossmember that is broken with a new piece — not an easy or quick job to do. But because the chair has a value above and beyond being “just a chair”, I have to think whether i want to replace the original cross piece or try to “restore” and strengthen the original in a manner that doesn’t dramatically reduce the value of it. (Needless to say, a broken but “restored” chair has less value than one that is “whole”. And, probably, a broken and poorly repaired chair has less value than a broken unrepaired chair.)

We’ll see what comes of it all.


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