It is made in almost every possible shape and com-posed of alI sorts of materials. The present subject is of the very simplest construction, and the materials employed are inexpensive. The amount perhaps a handsome screen. Should the amateur not be an artist, the screen may be made beautiful by adapting some of the numerous art fabrics, etc., which form so distinctive a feature of the present day. The directions are confined to the making of one leaf or fold. The screen may, however, be two-, three-, or four-fold, according to the fancy and requirements of the maker. The height will also be a matter for individual decision. The wood employed for the frame-work is red deal ; the mosque arch is of oak as used for fretwork ; and the panels are Willemstad paper, either hand-painted or covered with Liberty cretonne.
The proportions of the screen, a leaf of which is represented: Extreme height while the frame-work is of stuff. square throughout. For the side uprights prepare two pieces of red deal finished work. For the three crossbars and short upright for the center of the lowest portion prepare four pieces. The wood should be dry and clean-grained, being free from knots, &c., and all should be carefully planed and accurately squared. The top and center crosspieces are to be mortised into the uprights, thus leaving the latter apart, while the lowest crosspiece may be cut exactly and be secured at each end through the uprights by two slender wire nails; if the latter are carefully driven, and the above precautions as to measurement are observed, this will make a joint sufficiently strong for our purpose when further strengthened by the brass corner pieces, to be particularly described presently. The short center upright of mechanical skill required is moderate, and if the directions be followed, the result will be a most presentable and may be fixed in the same way, or, should the worker prefer it, it may also be mortised to the second and third crosspieces.
The mortises and tenons should be carefully cut, and firmly glued and wedged.The fact that the ends show upon the sides of the frame need not cause any anxiety, as this is provided against by the small brass plates, which not only serve to hide these discrepancies but also add considerably to the appearance of the screen.
These plates are not, however, to be taken in hand at this stage of the work. When the framework is thus complete, it should have a coat of white enamel laid on pretty thickly, and be placed aside to dry. When thoroughly dry, it should be rubbed down with very fine glass-paper wrapped round a flat piece of wood, care being taken not to interfere with the sharpness of the corners of the work. The next items to engage our attention are the panels by about ll in. wide, or all three panels exactly fitting the openings, whatever the size of the screen may be. For our present purpose there is no better material than the former, being the color of ordinary brown paper, will need to be painted in some suitable color, but the latter, being itself a pretty shade of green, might have some decorative design executed upon it, without the necessity of painting a ground.
These remarks are merely suggestive, but this paper cannot be too strongly recommended as a material most suitable for decorative purposes, being strong and light, while it is unaffected by moisture, and the surface is just smooth enough and yet rough enough for hand painting, a simple design from some of the many Japanese books may be utilized for our purpose, and if the drawing of these subjects is accurately copied, no great skill in coloring is necessary to make very effective panels. The mosque arch mount is of oak each arch may consist of two pieces, joined or touching at the top. Paint these.in two coats of white Adelaide, rubbing down each coat until quite smooth.
A very pretty and novel effect may he produced upon oak treated in this way by going over all the lines of the grain of the wood, when the paint is perfectly dry, with a steel pen dipped in rather thin gold size. When the size is at the right stage of “tackiness,” apply gold leaf, and the result will be, upon brushing away the superfluous gold, that the grain of the oak will appear in gold, which, in contrast with the white, is highly effective. The lower panels may be treated in the same way as the upper one, but a better contrast will be effected by covering them, painting it also with white enamel, and slightly gilding the more prominent portions of the design. Both sides of the screen may, of course, be made the same, or rather treated in the same way ; but if it is required to show only one side, the back of the panels may be covered with some of the cheaper Japanese leather papers, when, although it will not bear comparison with the front, it will be quite respectable. Tim method of fixing the panels.