Email: mikepod at yahoo dot com
Phone: 302-388-0656
Wilmington, Delaware
Greetings…And welcome to my web site. To give you a sense of what I offer in the way of either conservation, or bespoke work, I show a reasonable cross section of my experience and skills in a gallery/slideshow format that appears on the home page.  I am still adding to it so if there is something you don’t see, please ask. It may not yet be loaded. Look around the right hand column for different categories or tags that you are interested in to click on. When you get there, click on the picture and you will be taken to a series of related images and descriptive captions.  Click on any one of them to bring up a slide show you can scroll through.  When you are finished, click on the black background to exit, and then on Home to go back to browsing.
My background
After college I worked as a craftsman, first as a professional model maker, then as a boat builder, a foundry pattern maker, again as a boat builder, and at all times, a furniture maker. Eventually my interest turned to preservation and museum work. I have been a professional conservator for over 25 years, initially interning at the Williamstown Art Conservation Center. I completed my graduate work at the Smithsonian Institution and began my professional career at Winterthur Museum and the University of Delaware in 1986. In 2007 I accepted the post as head of the Furniture and Related Objects Conservation Programme at West Dean College, near to Chichester, West Sussex, UK where I also created and taught the Programme in Historic Furniture Making Practices. I recently returned to the US and have established an independent conservation studio: Michael Podmaniczky, Conservator LLC; associated with the Art Conservators Alliance.
http://www.artconservatorsalliance.com/
I provide conservation services for a wide range of objects, primarily but by no means limited to period furniture and gilded objects. I spend almost equal time on modern and contemporary objects. I have taken the opportunity that independence offers me to also return to my background as a craftsman, making recreations of period objects, as well as building contemporary studio furniture. I actively solicit model making and prototype commissions as well. There are many things I could help you with that may not be pictured here, so feel free to ask. If I’m not right for the project, I may be able to introduce you to a colleague who is.

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2 comments
  1. Gary Foster said:

    I am going to try and replicate the Samuel Gragg side chair and armchairs, like the one you have possession. I have seen many photographs of the chairs and know that some people have replicated some of the chairs. Is there any place that I can obtain any design drawings or dimensions for the ether of the two chair designs ? Please redirect to a more appropriate department if needed.

    Thank You

    Gary Foster

    113 Wilson ct

    Folsom ca, 95630

    916.983.7723

    • The problem here is with the complex shape of these chairs. They are built a little like a small boat, and as such really need to be “lofted”, i.e. drawn up in 3 dimensions, full size as a boat builder does in order to get the compound curves worked out in advance so you don’t end up with kinks and misshapes. Simply having the general dimensions is not all that helpful. Also, the nuances of these chairs are extremely important: a slight difference in scantling of the legs or stiles, for example, makes a huge difference in the overall presentation. Gragg clearly was refining them right along to the point where he sold off the patent in New York City, although by the time he seems to have stopped building, he had it pretty much worked out as a sublime construction.
      At some point I will take my lofting drawings and redraw on paper for publication. I’ve offered it to Fine Woodworking, but they are not interested. Don Williams published one he made as a how-to with the Society of American Period Furniture Makers: https://s3.amazonaws.com/theBarn/Articles/Woodworking/Williams,Don-Replicating_Gragg.pdf I’d suggest you try to get access to the chair at the Fine Arts Museum in SF since there are things about these chairs that simply do not lend themselves easily to written description.

      Also see: http://www.antiquesandfineart.com/articles/article.cfm?request=465 and

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