Building on more than a decade of experience, award winning Twenty Gauge is dedicated to the preservation and delicate art of steel furniture restoration. To this day, J.C.'s intuitive ability in reclaiming the hidden beauty within objects misrepresented or careworn, drives the company forward.
J.C.'s love affair with the conservation of American vintage furniture began out of necessity. Searching for a desk that was both practical and interesting, J.C. uncovered a run down 1948 tanker desk at a flea market. After stripping off many layers of beige paint, J.C. was taken aback by the raw steel gleaming underneath. This moment inspired him to start refurbishing other vintage steel finds. After making every mistake possible on his own furniture, J.C. perfected what is now the Twenty Gauge Process and launched his company, Twenty Gauge a year later. The process includes evaluation, thorough removal of corrosives, replacement of worn parts, industrial strength sandblasting, layers of powder coating and more. Each time consuming step is what guarantees that every Twenty Gauge piece will not only look fantastic, but will withstand the test of time.
"In the beginning, I made the two big mistakes most people make when they try restoration, sanding by hand and using paint and lacquer for color and protection," says J.C. from his showroom at H.D. Buttercup in Culver City, California. "To be truly restored, a piece must have all the chemicals and rust removed from every part, seen or unseen, something that even tedious hand sanding can not do. Just a trace of rust will corrode through any new layer of paint and may not be apparent for a few years. The only answer is professional, industrial strength sandblasting and an attention to detail to make it effective." He continues, "Another mistake I made in the old days was using paint. I tried all kinds of paints and applications, including epoxy enamels (used on automobiles), but over time they failed. Paint and epoxies will chip, fade, decay, and can deteriorate the steel we are trying to protect...and it is toxic! The only solution for amazing color and long term protection is low V.O.C. (volatile organic compounds) Powder Coat. Powder coating is not only beautiful and durable, it is non threatening to the enviroment." J.C. continues confidently, "People may find similar looking vintage steel furniture on the market that is less expensive, but I can bet, those manufacturers use short cuts and are doing a disservice to their products and to their customers."
Winning the Home Magazine American Furniture Award in the "Preserving Tradition" category, was an original coffee table J.C. had constructed from a vintage architectural file cabinet. Since then, Twenty Gauge has also become world renown for their inventive reconstruction and reassembly of both home and office vintage steel furniture. They now offer Custom Design Services and Custom Refinishing to meet the needs of clients with specific design requirements or those who want to realize their vision. J.C. welcomes and enjoys the imagination of his clients, and works personally with them, helping them create the furniture of their dreams.
JC immigrated from France over two decades ago, has a passion for early to mid century design and is a world traveler. He has an eagle's eye for selecting timeless pieces on his adventures to flea markets, swap meets, estate sales and antique stores. His finds inspire and endure. In addition, he is the founder and owner of Style de Vie, a company devoted to finding and conserving vintage paper products. For those items that do not fall under the Twenty Gauge or Style de Vie umbrellas, J.C. also has a line of salvaged pieces, ranging from aluminum garden furniture to vintage apothecary bottles.
Collectors of Twenty Gauge Vintage Steel Furniture consider their purchases as heirlooms, objects of beauty and quailty to be handed down from generation to generation.
Twenty Gauge is available in stores internationally, including Restoration Hardware, Sundance Catalog and on-line at www.twentygauge.com.
The Twenty Gauge retail outlet is located at H.D. Buttercup 3225 Helms Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034 (310-945-5438) Monday to Saturday 10am - 7pm, Sunday 10am - 6pm (pst).