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Posts Tagged ‘danish modern design’

Here are some better pictures of my three legged side chair. At some point I will get some help from someone who knows more about photography than I do, but here they are all the same. In particular I wanted to share some of the details I have enjoyed figuring out on this piece. Every piece is curved or turned. Every piece has both tenons that fit into a adjoining pieces and a mortise to accept another piece. The legs are canted and splay out for stability. The seat and seat back are laminated. All these details make the chair both challenging and satisfying to build.

Perhaps most challenging parts to cut well are the shoulders of the tenons where the rails meet the legs. I decided that for a clean aesthetic the shoulders had to fit the radius of the legs. Cutting the shoulders takes several steps and utilizes both carefully made jigs for my router and hand work with a chisel. IMG_1455

The holes that the let tenons fit through on the arms must be precisely cut to match the angles of the legs which are all canted out for stability. This picture also highlights what seems to be becoming my signature detail: The tenons with black walnut wedges.
IMG_1462The sweep of each curve must gracefully lead into the next. Though I liked the curves on the prototype, every curve has been tweaked for the revised set of patterns that I will use on the next 5 chairs. The final chairs will have plugs covering the screw holes for mounting the seat back.

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The design has the minimal number of pieces needed for an upholstered chair with arms, but there is plenty to draw the eyes in for a second look. It is both light weight and elegant. IMG_1442 IMG_1444

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The chair that may launch a furniture business! Though I continue to enjoy the teaching I do with the boat school, there are often gaps between those classes or times when there are simply fewer classes running. Those gaps must be filled! After finishing the Shearwater, furniture became the focus of my personal woodworking and it’s been a productive couple of months. Among other pieces, I finished a Tage Frid designed Three-Legged Stool, a chair inspired by a Wharton Esherick, and I designed and built a chair which drew much of its inspiration from several of the greats in danish modern design including Hans Wegner and Finn Juhl.

With the completion of a prototype for my most recent chair design, I have decided to start a small furniture business. My plan is to design and build small runs of furniture. I am starting with a light-weight side chair. The next design I have in the works is a lower lounge chair in a similar style. I will start work on a website dedicated to this side of my woodworking soon, but I’d like to introduce my first design here now.

The design brief that I set for myself was fairly simple: a light weight side chair for use in a living room. After finishing my Tage Frid three-legged stool, I was struck by how much my housemates moved it around. I would find it in a different part of the living room every few days after it was finished. Its light weight allowed for a much more flexible use of the space in the living room, which also led to the space being used more. This design was conceived as a way to continue what began as an inadvertent experiment exploring how people use communal spaces. I wanted to design the sort of chair that friends could pull up to a coffee table for playing games, or which could be used as additional seating in the dining room. At the end of the day it can be quickly returned to wherever it typically lives. Throughout these uses, the chair had to be comfortable. I began collaborating with my upholsterer early in the process to ensure that the final stages of the project went smoothly. In addition, I wanted to design a chair that was elegant, distinctive and fun.

You can see the result below. I finished it a little over a week ago and so far the reactions have been overwhelmingly positive. Everyone comments on how comfortable it is. One part of the chair that continues to elicit positive feedback is the backrest which people find to to be at just the right height and angle to support their lumbar without being large.

I am gearing up to produce a small run of these chairs. I have worked to better organize my shop for chair making, and after getting feedback from a wide range of people, I will be making a range of minor adjustments to improve the aesthetics and the comfort of this initial design. Last week I visited Zena Forest Products and purchased enough Oregon White Oak to produce 5 more of these chairs. I expect the price to come in at between $600 and $800 dollars upholstered. I will be able to offer a more solid price as I near completion of this initial run.

If you are interested in purchasing one of these chairs, please let me know.

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Even cats find it comfortable.

IMG_1417The set of rolling cubbies I built earlier this week to keep chair parts, jigs, and patterns organized. Organization is one of the keys to an efficient shop.IMG_1434 

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