It was exciting to go to an actual house clearance and see some pieces in situ worth buying and renovating. It felt like I was in a special place. The secret garden but this one was full of old furniture. Furniture heaven. The only problem was getting all 6 pieces home, and which one to start first of course. My mind was full of ideas but I was left feeling like Augustus Gloop in Charlie and the Chocolate factory, where he was over come by his gluttonous ways. Only I was over come by my furniture haul and ideas. It was on the third piece I worked on from that gluttonous furniture hall that I realised something. Underneath this mass of dirt, damp and down right neglected piece was some beautiful untouched wood with stacks of character. It took me some time to see this as I spent a whole day releasing the drawers from the body of the chest (hammers, drills and a swift kick) and then another half a day trying to make them fit again. The wood was swollen, smelt like an old mans wardrobe and hadn’t seen daylight for some time. I thought “I don’t always have to do my usual painting and covering up” I could try and get the lustre and life back into the wood. I also thought it would save me a lot of work sanding, undercoating, painting and varnishing seeing as I had another 3 pieces yet to start work on. Famous last words as they say. It seems there is a lot more to treating and caring for wood. Sanding, dying, oiling and more sanding. I spent the best part of 3 days repeating these tasks. And there really was blood, (kicking those drawers open) sweat (sanding) and tears (the cost of wood treatments). Until “The” moment. The moment reminiscent of finding your lost phone. The moment you win more than a quid on a scratch card. I could have easily had slept next to her all night so she was the first thing I saw when I woke up. (Apparently I used to do that with new shoes as a kid. Yet to be proved). I felt as proud as the day Alfie didn’t pretend I was his aunty in the school playground for a change. There were “hallelujah’s” screaming from everywhere. Although I started this particular project thinking I was cutting time and effort, it turned out the complete opposite. That said it was the most rewarding piece I’ve ever worked on and I was struggling not to keep her. She went to a new home in only a day and I wasn’t surprised.
After 15 years as a nail technician with a portfolio including editorials for Vogue, Harpers, Grazia and Dazed and Confused, and movies such as Disneys Maleificent with Angelina Jolie, I created Muck N Brass to combine my love of design and passion for upcyling.