Saturday, March 15, 2014

Pinterest Project #24

I pinned this on Pinterest a couple of years ago.

I thought it looked cool.  I tried to follow thru and see how much it cost but it was a catalog link from overseas and was outdated.

Dead end.

Yet, the bases actually remind me of the brass Alter Candle-holders my mother has.  I remember my dad bringing them to her from Thailand when I was 5.  And I've watched my mother drag them all over the world, polishing them every year around Christmas.

My mother had a lot of brass. She did a lot of polishing.I thought she was crazy. I was never gonna have a bunch of stuff around that took that much work. No silver. No brass.

And for 26 years I meant it.

Until I saw these.  So I start thinking to myself if I can find some of those alter candle-holders, I could leave one as is with a large candle, and take a portion of the other out so its shorter and slap a brass tray on the top and fill it with candles.

Our new house has a great spot for that. And brass on that dark red brick floor....

So I began searching for a pair of them. Not such an easy task. They are over 40 years old. And a search on EB and a few other sites was a shocker.  Over $100 to get my hands on them. Plus shipping.

Hmm. Maybe I will keep looking.

One day I was wandering through an antique place in Central Texas looking for I don't remember what.... and out on the patio I find a pair of them!

In seriously bad shape. As in they have been sitting out in the rain. If you didn't know what they were you might not guess, because they were brown.
They were also $15 for the pair.  Of course I bought them.  I knew it was going to take some serious work to get them looking like they are supposed to.  But I knew their potential.
I could do this.

I also talked to the owners of this mall about brass cleaning products people use when they sell antiques. The lady was telling me all about a product she likes and has seen many people use.  The guy leaned over and said follow me, I will show you the finished product. We went to a booth and he showed me an old spittoon. He pointed out how the polished look was kinda scratchy looking. I didn't like it - and neither does he, which is why he showed me.
He pulled this stuff out of the back and showed me. Said it was the best in his opinion and that I would have to find it online. They didn't even carry it. So I snapped a picture and hit Amazon when I got home. Score! he also said it was expensive, but I disagree with that. The first clean up I used more than I normally would, sure, but otherwise I think its really close to Brasso. Not as bad as I was expecting at all.

I love this stuff. One of the best things about it is that since its not a liquid like Brasso, it doesn't leave the white build up in the etchings. You can get it all off. The build up is one of the things I didn't like about brass. It just doesn't look right.

Four months of work.  That's what it took - off and on - to get the candlesticks cleaned up. I went to bed with some cramped up hands and forearms more than one night.
It was worth it.

Even Hubs noticed right away when he came home and said he liked that.

 Of course I had to have the large candle special made. You can find some alter candles that will fit it in Catholic supply shops, but they are like $80 each. And only come in white. No thanks.  I found someone on the interwebs that made me the size I needed. Much cheaper...although shipping about doubles the price.

And so begins my new love affair with brass.

Never would have seen that one coming.