Memories of Shine

A lovely message from a lover of shine and design…


Dear Mr Savage,

Thank you for your lovely email.

I would love to imagine that it was genuinely telepathic or that the world was conspiring to encourage me to perceiver down the shiny road. The one that yields memories of the first time I  illegally moved the ornaments from the top of the family piano and grasped the thin, mellow lid and smelled the workings. I was 4 years old I imagine. I am 46 years old now. It was the particular shine that delighted me then, and still intrigues me today.

I am a designer, a rather quiet one in the present economic environment. Hungry for creative ‘doing’ I have enrolled in a furniture design and making course in Ireland. I took all your advice on the tools I should buy, and bought you’re DVD’s.

Today was a study day. I spent 4 hours this morning studying course work finishes until I finally drifted back to my default obsession with my own project, a console table.

Having read several standard (original) texts on French polishing and watching many YouTube videos on ‘Vernis au Tampon’ (I prefer to watch the French polish…they are so sincerely dedicated), I thought about YOU! How really weird. I had so many questions. I am worried about which filler to use, which stain… The more information I had, the more questions arose. So here I was, my head full of shiny polish wondering who I can talk to…? Before I went to bed I laughed at the idea of even thinking of asking you.

At midnight I woke thinking about French polish, checked my email, and there it was! Your really nice encouraging email. Even with the little time I have left on the course, I will take the time, because you’re undoubtedly correct; human involvement has a psychological meaning. It builds a biography of the object, of the space of the object. That to me creates a sort of encounter between maker, object and user. Perhaps one day other objects, like interiors, buildings and cities can be shiny too.

Sadly, I assume the wonders of the Internet were responsible for your timely email. Never mind, the effect was the same.

Keep doing what you do,

All the best,



(David’s Response)

Hi Fiona,
Thank you so much for your e-mail, how evocative of true sensitivity to surface, you write with a real passion. My hat is removed. Go to shellac. It is, for you, the only way it is putting YOU into that surface it’s not magic it’s not really difficult. Follow the French teachers or follow my French Polishing DVD if you don’t have one I will send you one for free just for being RIGHT.
bless you



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