Pickled oak chair

So me and my Castle Drogo chair (the only furniture I owned at the time) moved to Cumbria. In time I decided that I would make this one-slat chair part of  my new range of handmade green wood chairs. It had proven it’s comfort and I felt the classic Shaker style and simple design would make it equally suited as an office dining or cafe chair.

So I have made my own interpretation, altering the dimensions slightly, reducing the length of the back posts and  raising the front rungs to lessen their chance of being damaged by people’s feet.

As a final touch I decided to pickle the oak to give the chair a contemporary feel when paired with the willow seat. Pickling oak is a simple process which I’ve used to good effect on smaller projects in the past. I dissolve a little steel wool in a jar of vinegar and then just wipe the clear solution on to the oak. At first nothing happens but by the time you’ve worked round to the third post, the first is turning a deep midnight blue like magic. The steel reacts with the tannin in the oak so it’s a natural colour which comes from the wood itself and leaves the grain visible.
Natural oak chair Black pickled oak chair


About Steve Tomlin

I am a greenwood worker and scythe tutor. I carve spoons, bowls and other products from locally sourced greenwood. During the summer I teach scything around the UK.
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3 Responses to Pickled oak chair

  1. Bob Thomas says:

    Steve Like the pickled oak. Maybe a market with the re-enactors tribe ;-D Bob

  2. Richard Law says:

    That’s a really fine chair Steve, I’ll have to see one in real life soon.


  3. Steve Tomlin says:

    Hi Richard,
    Wait till you see it with the white willow seat – it’s really stunning!
    I’ll be putting it into the Farfield Mill exhibition in April so you can see it then

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