Monday, 26 March 2012

Windsors around the world

There's been a lot of movement around the station the last few weeks and this past one has been no exception. Work on the cottage, demonstrating chair making at The Wood Steel and Steam Festival at Mont De Lancey, preparing for an up coming double chair course and working on some new chair designs in between!

Then late last week, at the same time as collecting Mr Goostrays tool chest and tools, I collected the box containing the Crested Rocker I made with Pete in Massachusetts last year.

Here it is being taken out of the box it's lived in for over 4 months. Millie watched on with interest. This is hopefully the only time I will ever flat pack one of my chairs!

And here it is dry fitted, it was great to see it again after it's long journey from Sterling MA, half way around the world.

And just across the pond from Massachusetts, a friend Leigh, who has made a couple of very fine chairs with me in the past, sent me this photo of some balloon backs and another fan back style chair, he spotted while on tour, in a little cafe in Warwick, England.

While the balloon backs are a little on the heavy side for my liking, I was interested to see the resemblance of the end chair to our 'Kangaroo Chairs' here in Australia. Being the most well known 'windsor style' chair in Australia, these were made in droves with decorated crests. The very first of these were carved, with everything from native flora to kangaroos and emus. In later years these decorations were pressed into the crests as the chairs became mass produced.

By far the most famous Windsor chair maker in Australia's history has to be George Peddle of Tasmania. A Peddle chair is now quite the collectors item and worth quite a good deal of money too.
Peddle's chairs were made usually of blackwood, with square-ish seat shapes, turned legs with multiple beads and a shaped crest rail. Very much like the chair sitting at the end of this table in Warwick. Which is not surprising given that Mr. Peddle was from the heart of Windsor chair making in the UK, High Wycombe...... just an hour away from where Leigh took the photo. Great stuff. Thanks Leigh.

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