Monday, 24 October 2011

More than the sum of it's parts...

I'm typing this from 'across the pond,' as New Yorkers affectionately refer to England and the Crested Rocker class is finished, but the processes and experience are still very much foremost in my mind. I've made Continuous Arm Windsor chairs and helped dozens of others to make theirs, but this chair is definitely on another level. I had read the Fine Woodworking articles that Pete had written ( despite being heavily edited.. ) but being with the man who created the chair and who is aware of all of it's subtle nuances was worth every minute and dollar expended to get there. Two fold.

One look at the chair and you are drawn to it's beautiful lines, complimentary curves and harmonious shapes. But the detail is as apparent in the negative spaces created by these parts and when focusing on these, even more detail comes to light. The circular lines of the spindles and the complex undercut curves of the seat to name a few. In fact there was so much inspiration in the process, Pete's new workshop in New England in Autumn, the ruins of the original Rocky Brook Chair Shop of Newton Burpee across the road, the white oak and butternut in the chair and so on and so on, that I'm struggling to know where to start, photo wise, to give you a sense of it all. 

So here is the chair, simple as that. Next to the chair that Pete made for the Fine Woodworking article. It's dry assembled, ready for breaking down and packing, but like all windsor chairs is relatively stable with not even the slightest smell of glue. I have a small video of it rocking too, but that will have to wait until I get home to retrieve it from my camera. It rocks like a perfect bearing spins. In fact the slightest push on the chair will set it in motion and it will rock away happily for over a minute. Great stuff.

With New England and the U.S. behind us we now have a few days to unwind in London before heading North to Scotland, where we will spend a few days with my Uncle and see the completed design for our new shop, workshop and home in Kyneton. We are dying to see what will be the next phase of our lives, on paper and drawn by family from the other side of the globe. 

During the week with Pete, we had the fortune to spend a couple of hours with antique tool king, Patrick Leach. You may have heard of his website, 
We had a ball and saw some of the most amazing tools I've ever layed my eyes upon. Of course a couple of those just had to come home with me! I'll expand on that soon.......but here's a clue

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