Diamond to volunteer on Antiques Roadshow

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Antiques Roadshow is coming to Louisville, Ky., this weekend — and one Russell, Ky., man will be there right in the action.

Darren Diamond has been restoring furniture for 20 years. When one of his long time customers, Mary Dykes, a retired school teacher, approached him about helping as a volunteer for the show — he jumped at it.

“She sits on the board at KET Public Television and arranged for me to be a part of it,” Diamond said.

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At his shop, Diamond Furniture Restoration at 519 Bellefonte St. in Russell, Diamond does caning, rushing, stripping and refinishing, restorations of old finishes, veneer repair and resilvering mirrors.

A new part of the business is resurfacing tubs and sinks.

Diamond will go to Louisville where the show will be filmed for next year’s season that starts in January 2008.

Orientation will be Friday night and on Saturday, work begins at 6 a.m. and continues to 6 p.m.

“I do know that I get to meet the cast and we’re allowed to bring two pieces of our own to have appraised, which I thought was really neat,” he said.

Diamond also will get an Antiques Roadshow polo shirt.

He has a friend who wants him to take an old ivory carving that belonged to his great grandfather who was a missionary.

“I don’t know what I’m going to take, but I have a piece of pottery that I’ve always wondered about,” Diamond said. “I bought it when I lived in Indianapolis at a yard sale and I’ve never seen anything like it. I’d kind of like to see if they can tell me anything about it.”

The pottery is multicolored glaze with in many different earth-tone colors, he said.

He was put on the Antiques Roadshow e-mail list and they sent him a volunteer booklet to print out.

“It tells you everything you need to know,” Diamond said. “We have to have a photo ID and we’ll have lanyards with a pass. They’re real concerned about security and if we see anything that looks suspicious, we have to notify staff.”

Volunteers are not allowed to sell their pieces during the day, Diamond said and they are urged not to help people with their pieces — probably because of liability issues.

Volunteers also are given breakfast and lunch.

“I think that we’re going to be more like cattle herders,” he laughed.

About 80 antique appraisers will see about 500 people an hour for each show with a total of more than 5,000 guests each day.

Another rule is to be courteous to people but if you know something about the item, “please don’t spill the beans — leave that to the experts.”