Thursday, December 20, 2007

With Great Anticipation, I Start Designing the Chair


This wood is just beautiful! I am in awe and grateful of the opportunity to craft five Maloof inspired rocking chairs from this English walnut. Today's blog post concerns design and developing templates.

First a chair should provide an invitation for a safe, comfortable sitting experience. The dimensions should look and be appropriate to accomplishment of this goal. Although I am from the South where bigger is better, I have never thought canon ball bedposts and non functioning ornamentation were pleasing to my eye. I think less is more. This should be designed as a chair of lines. The chair lines should be flowing and beautiful even if (heaven forbid) it was painted black.

This chair sould be constructed of a premium hardwood variety. Walnut, figured Maple Rosewood or Zircote' are perfect for this chair. Cherry might be considered as too pedestrian for this chair. The wood doesn't have to be curly or heavily figured or to make a great chair. To create interest I have used one board seats to place a crotch and feather in the middle of a saddle (seat). One board seats are a little risky, but an artistic chance is sometimes worth taking.

When I finish the set of five rockers that I am currently commissioned to craft I want to experiment with building the seat out of 5 to 7 pieces cut at 3 to 3 degrees on their joining edges. This should yield a more inviting saddle or seat with a slight concave quality.

I am conbstantly making changes both small and large. Since this ends up being a carving or sculpting project I read the wood and many times the grain and figure will give me direction as to round off, bring to a hard line or to soften the arm or seat lines, etc.