Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Navajo Chest?

Some months ago friends approached me about papering a piece of furniture for them. She is a friend through quilting, and her work style is spontaneous and unplanned, organic and whimsical, and she rarely designs anything in advance. He is the opposite, with a background in teaching at the graduate level in Psychology, with an interest in all things World War II and magic. We first looked at their small wooden trunk used as a coffee table, and in trying to develop an approach that would look appropriate with their collection of and penchant for Navajo rugs and Kachina dolls, I papered a shoebox with an idea. It didn't fly, and some weeks went by.
Recently they approached me again with a different piece of furniture in mind, seen above and with me reflected in the mirror. How did I do that? Ha! Anyway, we stayed with the Navajo theme and I proposed simple blocks of colors, larger scale designs, and some repetition. They approved the series of papers I had collected, and I began by painting the inside part of the desk a plain black. Black is one of my favorite colors, and it is one of theirs, too. 
Then I started the drawers, which went quickly and smoothly, and set the design for me. 
Next came the front of the desk flap, and we had agreed in advance that I would mimic a certain cross type design commonly found on their Kachina dolls. The top went fast, and then I started the sides.
I ran into a couple of challenges due to folding the desk flap down to use it, which entailed me repapering the edge where the painted end laid against the papered body of the chest. The paint didn't like the finish coat on the paper and kept sticking, so I found those black felt dots used for the back of art works or the bottom of lamps and such. Since I had used black paint, the dots blended in and worked beautifully.
Even though life has been a scramble, it felt so very good to be cutting and papering again. I could actually feel it calm my spirit and give me strength and focus. Sigh...


  1. Bette and Marty, right? They are SO lucky to get to live with this piece! What a beautiful job you did, Jackie.

  2. Yes, Bette and Marty! I think they like it quite a bit, and I am happy about that because Marty was nervous about the process.

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