Chai Kai – the art of structural repairs to Chinese furniture

disassembled-antique-chinese-table-parts-spread-out-slide Chai Kai - the art of structural repairs to Chinese furniture

拆开 (Chāi kāi) essentially means to “take apart” and people often don’t realize that when you restore a piece of Chinese antique furniture, usually in addition to carefully cleaning it, it also usually must be taken apart and entirely refitted back together. Since Chinese furniture rarely uses nails, and instead uses a complex system of pegs and joints, the item can be completely disassembled, with the pieces spread out over the workshop floor.

Traditional Chinese houses – from the countryside into the city (with million dollar profits too)

traditional-chinese-homes-resold-banner Traditional Chinese houses - from the countryside into the city (with million dollar profits too)

Very interesting article in the China daily talking about the resale market for Ming and Qing dynasty Chinese traditional homes which are disassembled, transported, repaired and then resold to restaurants, clubs or wealthy collectors.  Now this is an interesting topic which I could easily get lost in as it just touches on so many interesting elements from Hui Zhou […]

Faux and distressed finishes: A “start to finish” look at creating a hand-rubbed black lacquer finish.

hand-rubbed-lacquer-finish Faux and distressed finishes: A "start to finish" look at creating a hand-rubbed black lacquer finish.

I find the processes used in the workshop fascinating, and though others might enjoy it if I share some of them here. Today we look at the steps taken from start to finish to create one type of finish: a slightly distressed thick black lacquer finish with hand rubbed  edges. In this example case, the […]

ACF China in the New York Times/Herald Tribune: Reactionaries? Make That ‘Collectors’

ACF-China_new-york-times-article ACF China in the New York Times/Herald Tribune: Reactionaries? Make That ‘Collectors’

Mr. Schwendeman, an American who has worked in China’s antiques trade for eight years, said Chinese buyers are still paying top dollar for jade and furniture from the Ming and Qing dynasties made from rare hardwoods like yellow rosewood and ebony, which most foreigners ignore.

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