Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Empty Shop Syndrome - Mahogany Lectern Edition

(click photo to embiggen)

Recently, I delivered this lectern to a client in Brooklyn. Now that it's out of my shop, I'm dealing with the loss.

In Yiddish, a lectern such as this is called a "shtender" and is used by Jewish scholars for studying, praying, or lecturing. This shtender is all solid sapele mahogany and was built specifically for my client's library. Inside, are two adjustable shelves which provide plenty of storage. A classic frame-and-panel design, built with sturdy mortise and tenon construction, finished with top quality brass hardware. Signature and date hand-carved by the artist. It sells for $2995 + tax + shipping (call for details).

I made the client leave the room while I removed the tape and moving blankets. When he saw the piece for the first time he exclaimed "Wow! That's beautiful!" He has since reported that his wife loves it, his mother loves it, and his mother-in-law loves it -- that's the kind of reaction I hope for.

My separation anxiety comes from my attachment to the work. I personally complete every step in the manufacture of each piece of furniture, from the wood selection to the final coat of wax. I invest hours of care and attention, sometimes a little blood (sharp tools!), and yes, even love I suppose. I meticulously fit the door, so closing it feels like shutting the door on your Mercedes. My intensity crescendos as the piece nears completion, so naturally there's a little let down after delivery to a delighted client.

Fortunately, I'm diving right in to a large armoire for a client in Queens, and so the process starts all over again.... Maybe this is one of the clinical signs of addiction.

So goodbye little shtender, go become the cherished family heirloom I know you'll be someday. Oy, I'm all farklempt...and I promised myself I wouldn't cry.

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