In between everything else I’m spending quite a bit of time at the moment on designing a series of chairs. I’ve been making green wood chairs since I did a course with Mike Abbott in Herefordshire in 2003. I did a short spell as one of the assistants on his courses before heading off to concentrate on my own green wood craft.
My chairs are post-and-rung frame chairs, often known as Shaker chairs after the american religious community that made and popularised the style. For my own chairs I’m working on slightly different designs, seating materials and finishes to produce a range of chairs with a traditional heritage but a contemporary feel. As always I’m experimenting with the craft and trying to push it forwards.
This chair is my first spindleback. It’s important to get the spacing and angle of the spindles right so the chair is comfortable; a centre spindle is definitely to be avoided as this is where your spine will sit. The chair is made from locally grown ash with steam bent back posts to tilt the back which gives support and comfort. It is painted with my own made tempera paint, a mixture of egg, oil and water as used in paintings by the ‘Old Masters’. I love how the paint has an organic, aged look to it with the grain of the wood still visible, as though this is a chair with history. To complement that feeling I’ve used ‘antique’ paper rushes to weave a traditional rush pattern seat.
These chairs are made to commission and cost £255 + p&p. Please email me steve-tomlin[@]hotmail.co.uk to discuss your requirements.