Tuesday, March 18, 2008


This is a chair that I've owned since before I ever made a Windsor chair, or even had a real interest in them. The chair was simply left behind by someone vacating a New York city apartment. I liked the painting and kept it.

After having and using the chair for a couple of years, I went to lift it by the posts and the entire top came apart. I was astounded that there was no glue in the top but it was still solid. This was enough to push me further towards exploring chairmaking.
I don't know how old the chair is, it is obviously a factory product, but there are some nice hand shaved tenons on the top of the spindles and of course the painting is very handmade looking.

There is a freshness to this painting that I really enjoy. The years of patina, age and abuse can't cover the immediacy of the painter. It's as though they were just here. This is an achievement in painting be it on a canvas or a piece of furniture.
I suppose that you could call the painting naive or folk art. I have seen many chairs that look exactly like this one, but never with this painting. Perhaps it was the addition of the purchaser.

My training in "fine art" painting left me with a few observations. The most important is that all the virtuosity in the world cannot help you if you've got nothing to say. I recall struggling to relate to a blank canvas, and never quite being inspired. But I never have that problem when I walk in the room and see this little chair.

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