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Hoop Chair Revamp

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These chairs were designed by John Hauser Sr. for Ironworks, Kitchener, Ontario, in 1955.  These chairs need some sprucing up, and I am the man for the job!

You might remember we picked up a couple of these chairs a few posts back.  I thought it would be a good time to refinish them.

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My first stop was to swing into Jo-Ann Fabrics to pick up some tasteful pink pleather fabric to recover the seats and back rests.

Once I got home with the fabric I started on the deconstruction of the chairs.

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These chairs only had 8 screws total holding the seat and backrest to the frame.  That took just a couple of minuets to remove.

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Here are the cushions removed.  Some might say, “what is wrong with the current fabric”??  All I can say is that it isn’t pink.

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I laid the cushion on the fabric and outlined it with about a 3 inch space from the edge of the cushion and cut it out.

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Here is the type of stapler and staples I used on these chairs.  I picked them up at my local home improvement store.

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The trick is to start on one edge and staple the fabric down.  Then start on the opposing edge pulling fabric tight and staple it into place.  This is how it should look.  Make sure to cut off any excess fabric.

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The backrests were upholstered on the front and back.  I first had to remove the staples and material from the back of the backrest.  The next step was to recover the front of the backrest.  Recovering the front of the backrest uses the same process as the seat portion of the chair above.

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After the front of the backrest was recovered, I started on the back.  I decided to make it look nicer than just staples as it had originally.  I cut a piece of fabric roughly the same size with about 1-2 inch excess to fold under.  I used black upholstery nails to finish the back.  The trick is to keep constant pulling on the fabric as it is nailed.  This pleather is stretchy so that helps pull out wrinkles.

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Now that the upholstery is done it is time to focus on the frames of the chairs and getting them painted.  As you can see there is a lot of surface rust on these.

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A great way to sand pieces like these is to use a foam sanding block.  They come in various grit and conform to the area you are sanding.

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I used Rust-Oleum black appliance paint.  This stuff has a nice finish and is durable.

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After a good coat of paint I let them cook in the sun.

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I was able to pick up some new black rubber feet for the chairs so I replaced the old ones.

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Here is how they turned out.  We are very happy with them, and it will just add to the mid-century feel of our backyard alongside our mid-century BBQ!

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I think the upholstery nails look soo much nicer than just staples.

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On to the next project!

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Another Carlo Stash Raided

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This is an original tag that would have been on a Carlo of Hollywood piece. This is the rarest of the rare. Most of these tags were discarded. Mark is going to include this in our purchase.

Mark and Ann, the owners of Midway Antique Mall, called us today to tell us they got in 21 new Carlos!!! WHAT, 21!!! We almost swallowed our tongues. We immediately shot over to survey the collection. Mel and I picked out what we wanted but there are still pieces available for any of you collectors out there. Here are the ones we picked out (excuse the reflections).

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Don’t know what this picture reflects but it seems like something that relates to breaking the chains of bondage.

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This is an Asian man meditating while his tea steeps.

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Mel and I have some Thai dancers that will look fantastic with these. (Thai 1 & Thai 2)

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We have never seen these before. They seem to be Thai as well.

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These are small Carlos but are very cool. The frames are to die for. (sorry about the glare)

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This is a large Asian. The colors are FANTASTIC!!!

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Ok, Mel and I have seen a lot of cats by Carlo, but NEVER a Bengal tiger. This is super rare!

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This is a HUGE panther Carlo. The colors are fantastic and it is soo cool.

Count Carlo

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I was recently contacted by one of our readers named Robert. I was so excited about the information the email revealed about Carlo. I have asked him to please send me copies of the correspondence between both of them and any pictures he has of Carlo.

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Hi there,  

It’s with great interest that I read your newsletters and admire all your wonderful Carlo’s.  I started collecting Carlo in the mid 80’s and at the time had one great source from a woman living in Southern Cal. I live in Boston. Carlo’s can appear unexpectedly anywhere but there seems to more on the west coast. Somehow Carlo heard from another collector that I was collecting his work and he WROTE to me! You can just imagine when I opened the mailbox and saw his name on the return address. So over a short period of time he wrote me four times. At the time he was living in Manila, the Philippines and working as an artist along with some other creative adventures such as film making. He sent me an article written about him from July 8, 1987 titled  “Predictions by Count Carlo”   The guy was a character.  He claims that at the age of 28 he had a vision of his obituary published in a newspaper. I assume he passed away sometime in the 90’s but I can’t verify that.  The great thing about this article is that there are three photographs of him…an amiable looking balding man with a full grey beard.  One photograph has him sitting in front of one of his recent paintings – a 15 foot tall abstract painting.

He went by the name Count Carlo and I have three of his calling cards that he sent me. He didn’t consider any works signed “Carlo” to be his serious work except those painted for JC Penny. I think it’s difficult to figure what exactly was done by him since after moving to Italy and “proceeding to mass produce ‘original’ Carlos with the aid of over a dozens artists and semi-artists….hence their must be hundreds and thousands of paintings with my original signature.”  Another quote “My serious work I sign Count Alberto Carlo or just Albert Carlo but never Carlo, except of course what I painted for JC Penny”  

At the time I sent him photos of all the Carlo’s I had and he returned them with a sentence or two description written on the back of each. Back then he was looking for paintings that he did on velvet and was willing to pay for them. I had none and rarely see any. There was a pair recently on eBay of harlequins that sold for something ridiculous like 9.99.  I don’t know about you but most of the stuff listed on eBay these days by Carlo I personally do not care for. And the prices are terribly inflated. 

He sent me a painting unexpectedly titled “Hong Kong Beauty” which he requested $300 for but I sent it back. I didn’t like it at all!  I wanted to say to him…no offense but I prefer your stuff that was mass produced. I guess he might have been offended because I never heard from him again.

I’ll go through my letters again and see what other info I can send you. Although my collecting has gone in a different direction I still have a few on the walls. I absolutely love Carlos in the forced perspective frames and there’s nothing like them….whoever painted them!

Hope this bit of info helps a bit…..

Regards,
Robert

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If Robert can manage to find the original correspondence and photos I will post them on the site. I am soo excited at the possibility of adding a face to the name. This is like solving a mystery 60 something years in the making. It is soo important that we share this info so it isn’t lost to time. I will make sure to keep all you Carlo art lovers updated as soon as I hear anything.

Carlopalooza! (Major Carlo of Hollywood Score)

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We have not found a large stash like this for a long time! I couldn’t stop smiling for like 8 hours!

Mel and I went to Midway Antique Mall a week ago to initially stock our new booth and when we came through the doors we noticed a set of Carlo of Hollywood paintings that were new to the store. Mel and I were soo excited when we saw this set that we scanned the rest of the store and we found eight more Carlo’s that we did not have in our collection! We told Mark and Ann, the owners of Midway, that we wanted them. We picked them up today. Happy Day!!!

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It is hard to find a complete trio. This is our sixth set of trios!

This trio is very cool. The colors are still so vibrant and the imagery is timeless as usual. I love the Polynesian guy in the canoe! It always amazes me how Carlo did so much with his art when it is so simple. These will look great in the……….TIKI ROOM!

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I just love her outfit! The pink edges of the art make it pop!

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Not sure where these will go. They might look good in the Tiki room as well.

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Of course these will be in our Tiki room.

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I have wanted this set for a long time.

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What amazes me about all these Carlo’s is how vibrant the colors still are.

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Panthers are always cool! This one needs a little touch up on the black but it looks really cool as it is.This one does not have the forced perspective frame that all the others have.

Mel and I were just saying the other day that there has been a drought when it comes to new Carlo’s to buy. I guess this was like a torrential down pour of good luck! The good thing is that we might have a line on six more Carlo’s. Now the hard work begins, where can we fit 10 more into our 80+ Carlo collection. We are almost at a 100 Carlo’s!

Heywood Wakefield Dogbone Bed

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At last it is done.

We finally got our Heywood Wakefield bed done. I restored it a while ago but it took some time to sell our old one. We are really happy with the way it turned out. The finish has that usual warm glow like caramel.

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This is what Mel and I love about this style HW bed. We love the cut out in the foot board. It is basically a larger version of the back rest on the HW dog bone chair (M154).

We love this bed! It sits lower to the ground which is nice compared to what we had before. We have been on the hunt for cool vintage chenille bedspreads. We found this simple but cool “popcorn” chenille spread that is this soft pink color. We have been hunting for really cool peacock or flamingo bedspreads but have not found one we like yet.

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Mel’s mom made these pillows out of some cool barkcloth fabric we found online. She did a great job!

You might have noticed the Dahlberg AM radio above the headboard. I got it back from Luis over at Stereoadvisor last week and it works great. I had to make a wall stand for it to mount to. I can just imagine having the pillow speaker under your pillow listening to Perry Como or Bing Crosby crooning you to sleep.

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It looks right at home just hanging above the bed, I wonder the last time it was in that position….years and years I bet.

I think it all ties together and looks marvelous. We are soo happy with how it has all turned out.

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We hope you all like it too! If anyone out there has any really cool chenille they want to sell let us know!

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Carlo of Hollywood Commisioned Work!?

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I love this Carlo because it is soo detailed.

The great thing about our blog is that many of our readers share their stories with us. One of our readers Mollie informed us she has a Carlo of Hollywood painting that was COMMISSIONED by her father for her mother, that’s right, COMMISSIONED! I was never aware that Carlo offered commissioned works. I am sure many of you are aware that Carlo is an enigma and very little is known about the artist. This additional info helps us understand the artist a little more.

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As you can see the original frame is gone but who cares, I love this piece.

Here is what Mollie told me about this Carlo:

When my father had commissioned Carlo to paint this, the woman’s breasts were exposed. When my mother saw it she flatly refused to have this in her home unless some drapery was added!  Hence you see the ladies bosom has a bit of fabric discreetly covering her! This is special to me as I grew up seeing this picture in my home.  It’s a memory of my parents so I will never sell it! Regarding my dad and how he came to know Carlo. My dad owned an industrial uniform and linen company in LA and had customers in many areas of LA including restaurants, movie industry hotels, etc. Also, he and my mom loved art and design and frequented fashionable modern furniture and decor businesses. That is how I believe he met and had this picture painted. 

Thanks for your response,

Mollie

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The mark of quality

I want to thank Mollie for sharing with us her valuable info that would otherwise fade into the past. I wish we knew more about Carlo. As time goes by, and those who have carnal knowledge of Carlo’s history fade away, it becomes more difficult. I hope more folks out there will share what they know with the rest of us.

Tiki Bar Update

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Today, I performed a quick resto on these pieces. I used my old faithful “Awesome” cleaner that really removes staining, dirt & grease. I just spray it on, let it sit for a few seconds and wipe it off. It is breathtaking in its effectiveness.

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Plenty of room for alcohol!

After I cleaned the stools and the bar, I used Clear Gloss spray polyurethane to reseal and refresh these pieces. After the many years of use, these pieces were dull and the polyurethane brought them back to life.

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First thing tomorrow, I will be over at Bill’s at B&T Upholstery to get these in the works. You can see the upholstery in the background, this will match our other rattan.

Now off to Ebay to purchase some cool tropical postcards for the top of the bar!

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