The company reopened on May 4 and the wood supplier delivered my 32″ varnished dark maple stick to Maglia’s workshop.
Here it is:
Handle diameter: 20 mm
Shaft diameter: 14 mm
I have small hands (6 1/2″ inches), and 20 mm is Maglia’s smallest handle.
Francesca’s hands are my same size and she reports comfortably holding this diameter.
You can also see the horn inserts on the handle and tip of the umbrella.
To blend with the dark brown stick, I requested a dark horn (instead of white or cream).
However, I learned that artisans cannot predict or determine the horn’s final color.
To explain: the horn is applied as a block to the wood then filed to match the shape of the handle.
Maglia tried their best to incorporate a dark horn and I think the picture result looks splendid.
The dark maple wood is also varnished, which makes it more water resistant.
Water rots and spoils wood so varnish is good. It will eventually fade from wear, but i’m pretty sure you can wax the stick again.
Being interested in craft, I’m very curious how the horn is set.
Maglia and the wood supplier keep this technique a trade secret, so I can only guess.
For the handle: it’s possible the wood was carved (I don’t know how deep), and the horn attached with epoxy — a very strong adhesive often used for wood.
Epoxy is very strong. Woodworkers sometimes use rods instead of epoxy to later detach two objects. It’s almost impossible to separate two objects glued with epoxy.
Epoxy also prevents wood from expanding and creating a gap between the wood and horn.
Here are three possible construction methods:
- (Likely): Gluing the horn block to the concave wood with epoxy, then shaving the horn.
- (Less likely): Using metal or wood rod(s) to join the horn to the wood.
This is less structurally sound because the rod can be undone if you rotate or mess with the piece at certain angles.
- (Even less likely): Doing a “puzzle piece fit” (i.e. Mortise and tenon method). Then fitting the horn and wood together.
I’d say this method is extremely unlikely because the technique is much harder and requires more materials. You’d have to craft the additional horn that fits exactly into the negative space of the wood.
- A combination of all three methods.
I’m guessing the umbrella tip was also constructed using one of the the three techniques mentioned above for the handle.
You can begin to see the maple wood’s texture in the above photo; that gritty-ness enables maple to really absorb and stick to things.
I look forward to the production’s next steps.
The umbrella’s price is 520€, which I separated into two payments.