Wicker Furniture

Wicker refers to any furniture or baskets that have been woven.  Many web sites will tell you that people often mistake wicker for a material but in fact, wicker can be made out of anything that is pliable such as rattan reed, willow or paper fibre. Wicker is the process, the act of weaving these materials.  Wicker furniture and objects can be found all around the world and it dates back to ancient civilizations.  But it really became popular as garden furniture in the Victorian era.  According to randomhistory.com, the Victorians favoured wicker furniture because of its perceived cleanliness.  Many of the designs that we still see today have a Victorian feel to them such as this peacock chair:

peacock chair natural1

The largest producer of wicker furniture in the US was Heywood -Wakefield, which was a merger of two companies.  This is a classic Bar Harbor chair that they produced:

Heywood Wakefield Bar Harbor chairThe company modernized the process of producing wicker furniture through the invention of a loom that could mechanically weave furniture.  The age of their wicker pieces can be ascertained by the labels  found on the furniture.  You can find information about the different labels here.

Wicker became less popular in the early 20th century because of the shift in taste towards more streamlined, less decorative furniture.  However, in the 20’s Heywood-Wakefield bought the patent to Lloyd loom, a process invented by a competitor.  Lloyd loom wrapped paper around metal wires then wove them on a giant loom.  Not only was this cost effective but it produced a tight weave that was very sturdy and could be used to make simpler styles in the Art Deco mode.  Lloyd loom pieces became very popular and were seen every where up until the Second World War.  They are still produced today by a different company in England. Here is a tearoom photo with Lloyd loom furniture:

My wicker chair is a classic Lloyd loom piece probably from the 1940’s or 50’s.  It has a beechwood frame, metal slats in the seat area and the seat cushion has springs.  It is very sturdy and has no holes anywhere because of the tight weave and is very comfortable to sit in. I bought it from a neighbour over 30 years ago and painted it white.  For awhile, it was part of our living room furniture then it ended up in the basement for years before I decided to paint it a teal blue with an AS mixture of Napoleonic blue, Antibes and Florence.  I recovered the seat cushion with indoor/outdoor fabric.  I put multiple coats of polyurethane on it so it could be used easily outdoors.  With a little care, it will last as long as any piece made out of wood.


Although I love chalk paint, I have to say that I should have spray painted this with something else because I wasted a lot of paint getting between all the holes.  I know I used more paint on this chair than anything else that I have painted.





The Shabby Nest


By Stephanie Lynn




The weird world of Craigslist and Kijiji

Normally, I write my posts about furniture styles and the different pieces that I have painted.  However, lately I have been having some strange experiences with both Kijiji and Craigslist that I thought I might share.  I have now had 2 people buy furniture that they were going to repaint and one person offer me a low price because they were going to repaint it.  It’s hard to not be insulted but at the same time you want to sell the piece so I have been trying to be philosophical about it.  Here’s the first piece that was bought to be repainted.  It is an unusual Duncan Phyfe style coffee table that was originally maple.  I painted it with AS Florence, used dark wax all over and added gilding.


This is the second piece. It is an antique dresser that was in rough shape when I got it.  The drawers were missing pieces in the front, the bottom drawer sticks a bit and it needed new knobs.  It also had about 5 different colours of paint, probably lead based, judging by the undersides.  I painted it in AS Old White and Louis Blue.  I also painted the insides of the drawers because they smelt dry and slightly smoky,


I get that it looks like a baby’s room but that was the intention.  The buyer wanted to repaint it for her wedding, to use as a cake table. (?)

Finally this is the piece that I didn’t sell to the person who was low-balling me.  It is a classic French drum table painted in Old White, Paloma, Graphite and German Silver gilding.  REALLY!


I guess that’s what I get for trying to sell my pieces through the internet but since I have no other venue other than Etsy, I’ll have to grow a thick skin.  The other annoyance is the trolls that like to send you insulting messages about your ad.  Those are at least funny because you know what their object is.  I’m not sure the re-painters even realize that I have just painted these pieces.  How do I interpret that?