Update: This chair has been sold.
During the last few months I have pushed my work back into the realm of the old-style stick chairs that caught my attention in the 1990s. This latest example explores what I love about the early lightweight chairs, which were built with whatever materials (Branches? Curved sticks?) were available.
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This chair is built using black cherry from the Ohio River Valley. It is assembled using hide glue, so the joints are reversible should it ever need repairs (in 100 years or so). Like many early chairs, all the components are shaped by hand, and so this chair has a lot of texture.
The through-tenons are knifed to shape and are a little proud. All the curves are shaped with spokeshaves, rasps and scrapers. The sticks are faceted by the planes and scrapers that shaped them. It’s all a little organic.
It is, I must say, a damn comfortable chair. The back is angled 13.5° off the seat. And the seat is pitched back about 3/4”. So this chair is ideal for dining, keyboarding and relaxing. The seat is 17” off the floor – 1” below the silly 18” too-high modern spec.
The stretchers are an unusual ancient form. They are low to the ground, to add strength. But they lack a medial stretcher. I’ve made many chairs with an undercarriage like this before, and they survive just fine.
The comb is also an old form, and it echoes the shape of the arm and its shoe. The chair’s six back sticks poke up though the top of the comb – each are knifed to a diamond shape. The arm also features two blacksmith-made rosehead nails, which help join the arm and shoe (but are mostly decorative).
The finish is a traditional organic linseed oil and beeswax finish, which will quickly take on a rich color. The finish is not very durable, but it is easy to repair. This chair and its finish are designed to age well.
The chair is $1,400 plus shipping via common carrier (usually $100 to $225, depending on how remote you are). The crate is included in the price. If you live within 100 miles of Cincinnati, I am happy to deliver the chair for free. You also are welcome to pick it up at our storefront in Covington, Kentucky.
f you are interested in the chair, send an email to [email protected]. Ask all the questions you like, but the first one to say “I’ll take it,” gets it.
I have at least two more old-school chair designs in mind. So there is more to come.
— Christopher Schwarz