Sunday, March 27, 2011


It is exciting to see things take shape.

For a piece of furniture to be born of a tiny imprecise drawing and for it to have the same meaning in three dimensions as it did in only two is magic. There is also a lot of room in that leap for disaster. But magic when it turns out right.

Here is the A-chair in the raw, disassembled state. This first batch is made up of 4 side chairs. I wanted to show off the joinery because it is nearly invisible when the chair is put together. There are a lot of long snug tenons that will not easily rock apart over time. The seat and legs meet in a joint that doesn't allow the leg to wander sideways or front to back. These joints are the foundation for longevity.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Meet The A-Chair

There are so many chairs in the world. There are thousands or maybe millions of choices of chairs you can buy ranging from little brittle elegant antiques to giant beanbag chairs to Frank Lloyd Wright's "art" chairs that were probably never meant to be sat in. Why does the world need one more chair?

The perfect chair is a designer's holy grail. It is his yardstick. When a certain chair begins to move, it starts appearing in more places, people recognize it. The earth starts to fill up with his chairs. Thrift shops and auctions and landfills alike.

The A-chair is a studio chair, made one at a time like a sculpture. In the same breath it is also practical and very sturdy. Its design does not trump its function. This one is a walnut chair with a cherry seat. I'm building them out of the old standbys: Walnut, Cherry and White oak, or a combination. Hopefully people will be drawn to the A-chair for the following reasons: because they like the way it looks, because it is well built and because it is very comfortable.

Price: $750 (cherry) more than a production chair, much less than Thomas Moser!

Speaking about the design, it is a low profile chair, the backrest just barely above the table. I want to see a room that is uninterrupted by high chair backs. It is a balance of slender and strong, square and rounded with some elements calling more attention to themselves; those being not purely aesthetic, but for comfort as well. The seat for example is curvy, but not just for kicks, it sort of cradles you in and slides you slightly back.

So, go out into the world little chair, rise or fall on your own merits!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Light Basement

Remember that big project from last summer? I finally have some pictures of it! This was another project with Harrow construction in a small beautiful town in Idaho.

This project started with a very dark color scheme! In a rare 180 degree change of mind the clients decided that dark was not going to work for a basement, in spite of a wall of windows. So, the plan changed after the saws had already began to buzz. I only mention this little bit because this is a high anxiety change for a woodworker! Without too many casualties, we made the adjustment to the new color scheme: "whites, creams, and ivories." In the end I am happy. I only painted over a little bit of walnut.

This is sort of a long view through the length of the basement. there are are a lot of "ins and outs," textural contrasts and interesting uses of light. The fireplace is solid stone, carved by one previously mentioned Chad Parkinson the master of making everything look effortless.

Here is a closer look at the wetbar. I love how the stone on the wall is the backsplash for the right bank of cabinets. I also love arch top glass paneled doors with glass shelves. I also recommended mirrored interiors, but it didn't fly. I guess they'll fill these with expensive shiny things and that will be bling enough.

On to what the client calls his Roman Bath. Since this is the bottom floor, they had to cut out quite a healthy piece of concrete to dig out the space for this bath. The tile work is really crisp and well layed.

It also has a steam shower unit which is concealed by...the cover I featured in progress a while back. If you click on the picture you can see the wonderful weathered look of the patina.

Missing from the tour are pictures of the Office area, which is opposite a craft area the size of a kitchen complete with rolling island with cutting surface. The counter tops are all maple butcher block, which I really like. Also missing is the extensive closet and theater room. It is quite an open refreshing change from what we started with. Just for fun here is what the bathroom looked like before the remodel and one shot of the rest of the basement.