Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Box Shaped People

I bought a new push lawn mower the other day, and like a two year old at Christmas, I had much more fun playing with the box than with the mower.
I've spent lots of time thinking about the shaped of the spindles in the backs of chairs and because I use spindles, it's easy to get stuck thinking vertically. But the shape of the human body doesn't follow a singe vertical curve at every spot. So I started thinking about the relationships as they proceed horizontally. With the hardy cardboard, I mocked up this chair back by aligning four curves. It is surprisingly comfortable and sturdy.

 Each curve is actually slightly cones shaped. It was easy and took only a half hour or so, but it confirmed a lot of what I have been doing with my spindles and encouraged me to go even further.

Here is the view of the back. I started by pinning the piece together with drywall screws and adjusting them as I saw fit.

Then I took the small blocks of plywood and spun the screws until the plywood was sucked tight to the cardboard. The single board clamped to the workbench puts the support in just the right spot so I can rest my weight on it. From there, I mapped out the spindle shapes and will be making some patterns and dummies to further test it out. We will be working with this more to design some chairs at the class that Greg Pennington and I will be teaching at Kelly Mehlers in a couple of weeks.

As you can see in the chair below, I have been highlighting similar shapes in the flat spindles of my chairs for some time now.

This is my first walnut rocker with hickory spindles. Over time, the hickory will mellow to a lovely amber and the walnut will lighten. I didn't know exactly how I would feel about the contrast, but it is striking in person and quite pleasing.

I've accentuated the chamfers on the spindles which adds a lot of interest to their blonde color.
And spring is here, so we've got some new chicks in the house!!
Ten ladies should keep the whole neighborhood in eggs. The are growing like weeds, it's almost disconcerting.
And I opened up the goat paddock into the woods so my kids could climb rocks and eat shrubs.
In case you don't see them, here they are, livin large, just like the rest of us.


Jack Mc said...

Pete, how ould some of the Van Dyke crystal mixture work in the hickory? Jack

Steve Kirincich said...

I can not wait to see what inspiration comes when a new refrigerator arrives!


ChrisHasFlair said...


I really like the lines of your chamfered spindles. The cardboard form looks promising, too.


Bern said...

Crisp! Couldn't have made your transitions any crisper if you'd ironed them. Love the contrast too Pete. Very handsome chair, that one.

Tee said...

Thanks for the update on all the animals. I would love to have some chickens that could roam free and the eggs they would produce. Are you making goat cheese?

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John said...

Nice to read your article! I am looking forward to sharing your adventures and experiences.