Chairs, Benches and Stools

For as long as I have been involved with woodworking I have had a fascination with objects we sit upon made of wood. Everything from simple stools to intricate chairs are fascinating. Not the the heavily upholstered or ornate versions but the cleaner simpler creations draw the eye an invite a curiosity as to the construction, joinery and style.

I doubt I can remember all the chair makers and woodturners whose work has caught my eye or influenced some of my work but the notables such as the late Sam Maloof with his signature rocking chair comes readily to mind.

 

Early in the American experience the classic lines of Windsor chairs, benches and stools with finely turned legs tenon set into a solid wood seat with an eye pleasing splay are still popular and reproduced today. Wood workers flock to schools and workshops hoping to master the techniques and subtleness of the Windsor style.

Another influence comes from the simple lines and practical funtionality of the Shakers. Shaker furniture and handcrafts were also influenced by the concepts of order, utility and durability. As with their architecture, the discarding of any unnecessary ornament resulted in distinctive furniture of simple forms and proportion, often colored with a thin Venetian red or yellow ochre wash. Craftsman did choose some of their most beautiful woods for their furniture such as maple, birch, chestnut, butternut and honey pine.

So here’s the plan. I will be creating and building several stools, benches and maybe even a chair over then next few months and will chronical that journey here. First roject will be some simple 3 legged stools from a miniature doll or teady bear size, through a woven seat stoll that every child and grandchild needs , to a chair evey child would love to have.

Hope you will follow me on this journey and maybe find a future heirloom for your family or friends.

Cheers and Happy Holidays

Mike

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