So…..I thought I’d try upholstery!
Forever fuelled with a desire to stretch my creative capabilities to their limits and with my ongoing and fruitless search to find the career of my dreams, I happened upon an intensive four-week workshop in Upholstery Resurrection. Better still, the course was conveniently a two-minute walk from my home.
Maaike Furniture Restoration is a one man band located in Darlinghurst Sydney in the more colourful part of Oxford Street near Taylor Square. A small establishment unlikely positioned between an ‘adult supermarket’ and various late night bars and eateries. The atmosphere along the stretch outside the shop is vibrant to say the least.
Maaike (pronounced mike-a) is the name of chief upholsterer extraordinaire and owner of the business. What she doesn’t know about the ins and outs of a chaise lounge is hard to imagine! This lady is a font of knowledge which would rival older masters of the trade. If there are any gaps in her repertoire they would be made up for by her boundless enthusiasm and creativity. Maaike has acquired a vast depth of skill and know how about her craft and is generously happy to share with anyone prepared to listen – all of her trade secrets! Maaike also has a strong recycling and up cycling ethic. Chairs may be lovingly rescued from the kerb side, springs can frequently be reused and fabric remnants are often perfect for different projects. This encourages you to feel virtuous about sustainability whilst at the same time, beautifying your house with your own personal creation.
See below how my bridge chair was transformed in four lessons!
If I am honest I had not really stopped to consider just how much work is involved with the innards of a chair as it’s not really obvious from the finished product. The outer wooden parts on show such as arms also, have to be stripped back and sanded down which is in itself a very time-consuming process. I now understand entirely why it is so costly to get anything re – upholstered professionally.
Each three and a half hour session leaves me exhausted and ready for my bed. My head is throbbing with the extra knowledge and skills I have acquired.
At the end of class the lovely Maaike is not pushing us out of the door either – In fact, so generous is she with her time that she allows people overstay so they can refine their works of art.
Will I continue with upholstery? Well – yes I think I will. Tools are needed obviously but nothing you can’t buy from Bunnings. You also need a space to work and store projects as there is no quick fix if you want your finished pieces to look beautiful. Some projects will be heavy work and physically demanding and will more than certainly take a few weeks to complete depending on how time rich you are.
It is time to confess at this point that I am a bit of a workshopoholic! I have definitely sampled a few since I moved to Sydney four years ago. I can also say with certainty that this course is one of the best I have experienced. I love the intensity of it. The fact that after fourteen hours graft under Maaike’s kind and patient guidance you have acquired enough skill and confidence to potentially go it alone!
122 Oxford St, Darlinghurst
Open Tues – Sat 10:00AM – 6:00PM