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Thread: My first chair

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Los Angeles

    My first chair

    There are a few particular projects that I believe every fine furniture maker needs to design and craft at some point, the two that come most immediately to mind are a music stand and a chair. All of my favorite makers have done this and so I felt that I ought to begin my process. A few months ago I made the music stand and it came out great -- so I felt ready to step it up. The chair unlike the music strand needs to not only be functional and beautiful, it needs to be comfortable.

    I bought and studied dozens of books on chairs and spent a couple of years planning and strategizing, then finally began the build a few months ago. After laying out my principles and intentions, I made dozens of designs, lots of models, and a few cardboard prototypes. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic and scarcity of resources, I couldn't make a plywood prototype. But also, because the design had all these bent elements -- it seemed like more work to build a prototype than just build the chair. So I just built the chair and figured if it all went south, I could use the bent elements for a table or stool or something. The experience was riddled with a multitude of the challenges, experiments, and discoveries -- but ultimately it came out pretty much exactly like I had drawn it months earlier and much more comfortable than I predicted it would. Not a bad work for a first chair. Walnut. Maple. Leather.


  2. #2
    THAT is a chair that should make you proud! Thanks for sharing,

  3. #3
    That's a complex piece for a first chair - lots of bending. You did a great job on it. Congratulations!

    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    In the foothills of the Sandia Mountains
    lovely design and execution!
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    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
    - Steven Wright

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Oh that is just lovely. What a beautiful shape and execution. Well done indeed.

    But tell me more about the leather. It looks like there are bent laminations under the leather and the leather looks padded. How did you do that?


  6. #6
    Man, if that's your first effort, I'd love to see some of your other work! That chair looks great!
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Los Angeles
    Indeed -- The whole chair is bent laminations. For the cushions I cut plywood to the shape and length needed for each slat, then cut kerfs for the pieces to bend. They were then covered with padding/foam and leather. Then glued onto bent lamination slats. Easiest part of the process and most satisfying.

    This chair took a very long time. Just bending all the parts took about 3 weeks because I was too lazy to bother making multiple bending forms. By the time I finally got around to the cushions, I just wanted the experience to be over.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    olmsted falls,ohio
    You should be very proud.looks great.

  9. #9
    Very well done! Given the size of the arm bends, those had to have been challenging to get set up and clamped. I think the best part is that the chair is YOUR design. Nice functional piece and artfully done.

    Left click my name for homepage link.

  10. #10
    That is truly a work of art! Everything works together perfectly. How are the leather covered slats attached to the frame?
    Owner of Joe Modern Limited Co.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Cincinnati, OH
    It is an art piece. Very elegant with the contrasting materials and shapes. I also like the garden in the background. Looks equally inspirational and a proper setting for the chair. Thanks for sharing.
    Rustic? Well, no. That was not my intention!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2015
    NW Indiana
    OUTSTANDING!! beautiful design and execution. Really well done Ollie.
    If it wasn't for the "last minute", nothing would ever get done.

  13. #13
    That's good work! Looking forward to your next project!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Kudos! Nice lines and craftsmanship. A real looker.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Clarks Summit PA
    Unique, stylish, and looks comfortable!

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