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October 28-29, 2017

Registration Fee $60/weekend

Peach State Chapter SAPFM

A Short Walk through the World of Upholstery”

with Mike Mascelli

A one and a half day lecture-demonstration specially created for SAPFM members and focusing on the development of the American upholstery tradition as it evolved from the English and French styles brought to the Colonies by our forefathers. The presentations will include a brief but thorough look at the history of the trade as it organized in England as the “Worshipful Company of Upholders” in the 16th century, up through modern times, and a complete look at the tools, materials and techniques of the upholstery trade as practiced then and now. Mike will also demonstrate a number of upholstery techniques including a true hand stuffed slip seat, and a proper hand sewn edge treatment in several different styles. He will also cover the basics of coil sprung upholstery including a demonstration of sewing and tying springs. As a special feature, Mike will gently “tear down” a modern reproduction wing chair and talk thorough the de-construction process, as well as options for re-upholstery. This presentation will be of interest to furniture builders, restorers and those just dying to know exactly what is supposed to inside of a properly upholstered chair.


MIKE MASCELLI – has been a student and practitioner of the upholstery trade for about 40 years, and divides his time between the worlds of classic cars, and classic furniture. From a small shop in upstate NY he has provided upholstery, convertible tops, and soft trim to numerous national champion and prize winning classic automobiles, as well treatments for a number of historic and period furniture pieces. He has written for Hemmings Special Interest Autos and Sports and Exotic Cars, and for the 2010 and 2012, 2014, 2015 editions of American Period Furniture as well as the Pins & Tales newsletter. Mike has taught and presented a number of upholstery and furniture restoration related programs and workshops including some for the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking, Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, Northeast Woodworkers Association, Rochester Woodworkers Society, and is a regular instructor at The Marc Adams School of Woodworking. Mike has an extensive collection of historic tools and memorabilia related to the upholstery trade, and uses these to support his many Powerpoint presentations, demonstrations and classes.

In addition to practicing the nearly lost art of fully hand sewn traditional upholstery using traditional materials, Mike has been fortunate to collaborate on some minimally intrusive furniture projects with Don Williams, Senior Furniture Conservator of the Smithsonian, including work on some historic chairs that are now displayed at the US House of Representatives. This work was the subject of a presentation at the 2007 American Institute for Conservation (AIC) annual conference. Mike is a charter member of the Professional Refinisher’s Group (PRG) founded in 1998 to connect professionals in the refinishing and conservation trades, and since 2003 has been the Financial Trustee and Co-Director, organizing numerous events including annual meetings held at the Dakota County Technical College, in collaboration with Mitch Kohanek and the students of his Wood Finishing Program. He has published a number of articles for the PRG website, on both upholstery and restoration topics, and keeps a full schedule of furniture and automotive projects in the shop, including several collaborations with SAPFM members, including Cartouche Award winner, Steve Lash.

When not in the shop, Mike can be found driving his classic MG roadsters or his faithful old blue 48 Chevy truck.



9:00 Introduction and welcome  
9:15 A Lively Look at a Dying Art An animated Powerpoint presentation featuring the history of upholstery from the English & French traditions to colonial America and into the modern world
10:30 Break  
10:45 The Art of Upholstery A presentation that covers the basic tools, techniques and materials of the upholstery trade as practiced through the centuries with an emphasis on hand sewn traditional work.
12:00 Lunch  
1:00 18th Century Lolling Chair Project A step by step guided presentation through the upholstery of a reproduction lolling chair done using a hybrid of modern and traditional materials
1:45 Slip Seat Demonstration Live demonstration of true traditional hand stuffed upholstery, as well as options for both hybrid and foam treatments
2:45 Break  
3:00 Sprung Ottoman Demonstration Live demonstration featuring installation and hand tying of coil springs as the traditional upholstery foundation
4:00 Questions & Answers Re-cap of the day’s activities


9:00 18th Century Suite Presentation of step by step process of upholstering wing chairs and a camelback couch
9:30 Boston Crook’d Back Chair Presentation featuring the upholstery of a 17th century reproduction chair using full traditional hand sewn techniques
10:00 Hand Sewing Demonstration A brief look at the specialized stitching required to create hand sewn frame edges in two different period styles
10:45 Break  
11:00 Wing Chair Discovery Project Demonstration of deconstructing a modern “donor” wing chair, where ever it leads !
12:00 WRAP UP