Here are some of the pieces that I made on the way to creating the arms for my new chair. I kept having to work on two fronts. Not only honing in on a specific look and feel but also creating a distinct process to achieve it. I guess this pretty well describes the design process.
Luckily, the multiple attempts and trials payed off. There are photos of the arm below.
I am a big fan of what is often referred to as "degenerate" or "late" windsors. The terms reflect the simplified forms that became prevalent as the windsor headed towards factory production. I've read that the "bamboo" style could actually be seen as an advance, because the undercarraige and the top are unified stylistically. With this in mind, I set out to create an arm that would work with the rest of the turnings and also echo the carving in the seat.
It was a lot of fun playing with off center turning and creating patterns to make the final form. Making windsor chairs has given me an appreciation and understanding of the way that shapes and surfaces can come together with a logic all their own. I am especially interested in the way that the cove at the back of the arm echoes the cove cut in the side of the seat. The photo below shows this nicely.
I am looking forward to getting some paint on the chair. Paint tends to change everything, as the surface is unified and the forms come to light. I'll post more photos when it's done.