The second day

Day 2 and I’m really getting into the swing of things today. Not only have I found that I’m working with a great bunch of fellow students but my deep buttoning project has started to take shape and I’m finding the process enjoyable and rewarding.

Tresithick are taking 7 students each week now that our guru, Richard is ably supported by Nadine ( deputy guru). The layout of the workshop means that the group is split into two distinct areas and I’ve found myself with Tracy, Henry and Kate who have kept me amused all day. Needless to say, very little of our conversation is about upholstery and I’ve had a great abs workout from all the laughing that’s taking place. Definitely the naughty-corner. Of course we’re fully focussed on completing our projects and learning all that we can, but the group dynamics are making the whole experience even better.

So to my footstool, and today I’ve attached my calico cover which really sets the shape and firmness for the final cover in the next couple of days. Again, hugely mathematical, I had to mark the calico with the position of all 28 buttons allowing enough material for the calico to be fitted deep into the holes. The calico is pulled int the holes with a loop of buttoning twine and secured on the underside of the board with little toggles made from off cuts of firm material. This is where you can really see the shape and pattern of the finished article start to appear as each button hole is created…….

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This has been a whole-day job, and there’s more to complete on this tomorrow. Unfortunately, it’s not a simple case of just pulling the material into the holes – each fold that is created has to be neatly pleated following certain conventions that will have the pleats running in the right direction. Each pleat in the edge of the pad needs to be arrow-straight so that the final fabric has the correct guide beneath it to give the desired effect. Of course, there are a few pleats that just fall into place, and others that put up a fight! It’s been hugely time consuming, but great fun and as ever I’ve learned heaps.

I’m really pleased I didn’t go for a small board, the scale of this will look stunning and it looks like I’m on schedule for finishing by day 5.

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