Some of our most precious memories reside in our furniture.
My grandfather sits in his favorite chair, feet flat on the floor, long legs bent in his usual relaxed posture, fingers curling gently over the scrolled mahogany posts that curve gracefully from the narrow cylindrical padded arms to the floor. The fabric is a sort of rosy-salmon color, patterned with tiny rough diamonds. It’s that old nylon-that-looks-like-wool-and-lasts-forever that they don’t make any more.
The ritual begins in the kitchen. I am four, my two sisters, five and seven. Each of us is handed a full glass of buttermilk and cautioned to hold it steady to avoid spilling as we are marched into the living room to stand in a row before my grandfather where he sits in his favorite chair. A warm smile spreads over this face as he watches us drain our glasses together, each emerging with a white mustached grin.
Many years later, while browsing at a thrift store, I stop before an old tattered chair with a sudden flash of recognition. In my mind, it’s the same chair. I can almost taste the buttermilk. I am bathed once again in that warm smile.
What particular piece of furniture paints a picture in YOUR heart?
Getting to know you in the classroom. Sharing my knowledge of natural upholstery & materials that support your family’s health. Learning from every new project that comes into the studio. Bringing new life to old furniture. This is my passion.
He’s pragmatic. He’s down-to-earth. His carpentry and furniture endeavors over thirty years are wielded quite handily when there’s chair repair to be done.
Let’s Learn and Work Together.
I teach live workshops at my studio in Livingston, Montana, and will travel to educational events at maker spaces around the country. You can also find useful upholstery tips on my blog. I love working with adventurous home renovators seeking to revitalize their space by updating their own funky or retro chairs. I work with professional designers and homeowners to deliver top quality reupholstery work to match each client’s furniture with their design vision. And I provide instruction and guidance to artists and craftspeople keen to explore the upholstery medium and create their unique statement piece. The best part for me is learning something new from every client and student I have the pleasure of working with.
The Beginning Upholstery class with Carla was one of the most fun and rewarding gifts I ever gave myself. It was very challenging and much more difficult than I had thought it would be, but Carla is an excellent teacher and instills the confidence and knowledge I needed to get it done perfectly. Now I have the first chair of my newly planned living room set of furniture done and I eagerly look forward to putting my new skills to the task of finishing the rest of that set. When done, I will have a unique set of furniture that I will be proud to show off. I look forward to taking more classes from Carla.-Jill Maibe, Livingston, MT
Where to learn upholstery.
What happens if you have a hankering to update your own chair but can’t find upholstery classes in your area? Has the proliferation of YouTube videos with its scattered ‘How-to’ this-and-that left you feeling overwhelmed, disappointed and wondering where to begin?
Check out our online classes where you can attend on your own time, from the comfort of your own home. If you prefer personal instruction, you can choose to attend a live workshop in Livingston, Montana.
Ready to Learn More?
Join the growing community around this age-old craft. Sign up for my newsletter to receive updates on class schedules, plus tasty tidbits addressing specific upholstery challenges. You’ll receive a free download: ‘3 Tips for Choosing Fabulous Fabrics’.