The Family Tree of Chairs

One of the many nice details of the forthcoming “The Stick Chair Book” are the printed “endsheets.” For those of you unfamiliar with the term, endsheets are the papers that are glued to the inside and back cover and the interior pages of the book.

Endsheets can be plain, patterned or printed with cool stuff. Adding printing to your endsheets adds expense, of course. But because I have done all the layout and photography for this book (and most of the illustrations), I have decided to throw some money into making some interesting endsheets.

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Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always liked the family tree posters that explore rock ‘n’ roll and other forms of music. And I wanted to do one on chair forms. So I spent about a week sketching out a draft and then asked several furniture history nerds to poke holes in my tree.

Finally, I asked Welsh artist Lee John Phillips to draw the family tree for the endsheets. I was first introduced to Lee’s work by Chris Williams, and I quickly became a huge fan, especially of his quixotic Shed Project. Lee has been working on the drawings off and on for about a month, and he is getting near the end. 

Things are looking very cool. So cool, in fact, that I might do a stupid thing and make some letterpress posters of the family tree. (I mean, it has been months since I’ve flushed good money down the potty.)

When we’re done, I’ll show you the whole thing here. Until then, here are some in-process details.

A couple caveats: 

  1. This is a family tree of chair forms (backstools, thrown chairs, ladderbacks), and not chair styles (Chippendale, French Provincial, Late Jerry Style). 
  2. The colors and images shown here are not finished. So that’s why they aren’t consistent. 

— Christopher Schwarz


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