31 March 2009

do as i say, not as i do (maison21 kills a lucite pretty, so YOU don't have to)

maison21 should know better. really.

after google searches for "maison21" and "maison 21" (it's all one word btw, if you care), the number one way for people stumble across m21's blog is by googling "how to clean lucite" or "acrylic care" or "remove scratches from plexiglass". or any and all possible variations thereof; so of course it follows that our top visited post would be "i ♥ lucite: maison21 explains the care and feeding of one of his favorite materials" (and we do 'splain, so if you want to know, be sure to sheck out the post, k?).

so since maison21 is the de facto internet expert on cleaning and maintaining lucite, you think he might follow his own advice, right? like when we specifically, and at some great length, describe in our post how extremes of temperature will cause permanent damage to lucite, in the form of crazing and cloudiness- so keep the lucite from strong sunlight that might cause it to act as a magnifying lens and heat up. but noooooo- maison21 doesn't listen to himself. nope. he gives great advice to others, and turns around, and ignores it for himself.

at our outdoor pop-up store this past saturday, we dragged out a rather fab vintage lucite obelisk leg coffee table, and didn't think twice about leaving it for shoppers to check out. (you might wonder why maison21 would bring out such a nice item to what is basically a yard sale but he's learned over the years that while junque sales attract bargain hunters, they also attract serious collectors, designers and dealers, who are willing to pay some bigger bucks to score a higher end bargain). but what we failed to consider is that what was a beautiful day for humans- 80 degress and not a cloud in the sky- might not be so friendly to our friend, glamorous little mr. lucite table.

here is how the table legs looked before our sale- perfectly crystal clear:

and here is a close up of how the legs looked after 4 hours in the sun:
that rime of what looks like condensation or frost is a chemical reaction in the very structure of the lucite itself- the black portion of acrylic leg absorbed the sun's heat and radiated it up to the clear portion above, causing the damage. had we left it out longer, the crazing would have spread upward looking very much like ice crystals; longer still and all the outer surfaces of the lucite would fog, giving the entire leg an overall slightly foggy or milky appearance (in addition to the frosty/ice crystal-y portion at the base). so please, do as m21 says, not as he does- before more innocent lucite is harmed! no hot water, no pounding sun (normal indoor sun exposure is fine- not like it needs to be kept in a dimmed room or anything), no rapid temperature extremes, no harsh chemical cleaners, no abrasives of any kind.

in case you are wondering, little mr. pretty table now has a place of honor in maison21's living room- we inflicted the crippling damage on the poor guy, the least we can do is give him a spot to live out his days in peace.

we should know better. really.

7 comments:

Linda Merrill said...

Oh, now that's just a sad, sad, tale. But, thanks for sharing. A friend once burned the top of an antique table (and not her own, she was in a borrowed apartment) because she'd placed an innocuous looking glass paperweight on it, without realizing that it amplified the heat of the morning sun coming in the window.

. said...

LOL this is too funny of a coincidence. Just this morning I googled "how to care for ghost chairs" and Patricia Gray's blog came up on how to clean lucite which I think she mentioned you. Anyhow, I'm writing a quick blog(which I will post tonight) about Ghost chairs becoming popular rentals over the chiavari chairs. I linked Patricia's instructions to the post. I had no idea you were the original Guru! Great post.

RockyMay said...

How many lucites were killed for the sake of this experiment?

Suzy said...

Oh no! It was pretty fab, what a shame...

royalapothic said...

I'm literally crying inside.....

Carey said...

I had this sinking feeling once before while I was while reading "Under the Tuscan Sun." One of the construction workers scrawled something with a felt pen on Frances Mayes' newly uncovered antique frescoed walls. I was devastated. I've re-read the book two times, and it still hurts. Not my Tuscan villa, not my fresco, not my lucite table. Nevertheless, I feel your pain. But you're enjoying the table! You've moved on! Perhaps one day I will too. . .

Catherine said...

I've just stumbled across this site, and am now in love. Ah Lucite, how beautiful you are.
Am sitting in my boring little office, in my boring little job in far far off Tasmania (google that, if you dare) but now have joyful sparks in my heart from your beautiful sculptural bowl and that poor, poor but still loved table.
Have just bought my first lucite handbag (thank you Ebay) and feel a long love affair coming on.