Request for Chair-making memories

Jennie Alexander has asked me to see if I can help her trace any of the people and details of a green wood chair making course she taught there as John Alexander. If you were there or have any information please contact jennie@greenwoodworking.com

handmade dining chair“I am looking for any pictures of the course at Parham House. Any shot of Neville Neal there would be wonderful.

I wonder if you could put out a request for pictures. I would like one for the Third Edition of Make a Chair from a Tree. I also need the date I visited and taught. It was a wonderful experience. I would love to hear from anyone who was involved. Where is the young lady from Germany who took the course? Where is the young man who at the end of the course lacked suitable wood for one last rung? I confess we (myself included) took a broom down off the wall and made an ash rung for for the oak chair. I remember David Drew making his chair seat from willow while everyone else pounded ash for splints. What a wonderful journey.

I had asked John Makepeace to invite Neville Neal. After I demonstrated, Neville would take the Senior Class upstairs and introduce them to the joys of post and rung chairmaking. I intentionally did not visit the second floor. At the end of the course the Seniors descended with their chairs. I was astonished. Neville himself had made the simple chair I was teaching. I was deeply moved by his craft and kindness.”

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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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