In late August, Sean and I traveled to an antique furniture market just outside of Beijing with some others on our team. This place makes “antique” furniture for export sales, but it’s not what you would imagine. They make new furniture to look “old”. We pulled up in our school van to see workers sitting around staining wood, along with roaming chickens. There were a few large building filled with old/new pieces of furniture. One of the building was the place for manufacturing. At the back of the building we found the saw mill, with workers cutting and sanding boards, in the room before that workers were assembling pieces, and at the front rooms the finishing (staining, painting, hardware assembly, etc.) See pictures below:
I have been in the market for a buffet/hutch to store nice tea cups, dishes, linens, etc. All the new furniture stores in Tianjin are very limited in selection. The retailers in Tianjin sell modern, Chinese looking stuff. So our goal for the day was to order a hutch to be made at this furniture market. Sean found a piece on the Crate and Barrell website to our liking. We printed pictures from the internet, labeled them with correct dimensions to fit the space in our apartment, and placed our order (with the translation help of our friend, Ivette Kierpse).Then the waiting…we were told it would be about a month. This weekend, I was so excited to finally get the piece. Here’s some pictures of the delivery truck, taken from the apartment window. These guys drove over 2 hours from Beijing in the fog and haze, with the truck loaded like this.
Sean discusses the bill with the delivery guys
Here’s the cabinet…before cleaning
One more picture, partially decorated. I’m still working on exactly how to display things. I’m so pleased. Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas to me!!