I may have a a problem - I can't stop making chairs. Each chair I make leads me to the next one. I wish I could say that this process has yielded a collection of fantastic seats that have been met with critical acclaim. However, the reality is that the real product of this effort has been the humbling lesson that one must learn to walk before one can run.
Some of the chairs I have made were for specific clients or for niche needs. Many of the chairs I have made so far were just to see what I could do with what I had lying around.
Most often I find that halfway through one chair, another one starts to take shape.
Above is a modular seating system that was the result of the year long "Teen Art Park" studio. This was designed for an urban after-school art program and used off the shelf components. Below is an example of one of my sketch chairs. I have decided the next version will be a total material flip, with a wood seat and metal frame.
Some of my favorite projects never leave the studio. This couch was part leftover from something I made for another artist, and part because we desperately needed someplace to nap in our studio.
A lot of studio furniture later becomes the foundation of other projects, and often not necessarily furniture. I think, for me, I need to make things - otherwise I don't know what I can and can't do.
This is play. This is just for fun. And when you are done, you can always sell it to photographers. They love the crazy stuff ;)
The bucket stool ended up being an adorable way to use all the leftover paint buckets left by the dumpsters after one of the floors of the building had been renovated. I will be turning this into a kit of sorts that folks can use on their own leftover buckets
Using nylon cord as a caning seat material was an ongoing experiment for me. I know others have done it, and better, no doubt. But I find that I like to wrap my hands around the the techniques that came before me. I want their callouses on my hands - how else can one learn and grow in one’s craft?
Models in the computer are aspirational, a lovely fiction. More often than not after I have roughed out the basic form of something in the computer I like to move to a material sketch. I love a nice rendered image, don't get me wrong. And I am always working to improve that skill. But I like to know what the material can do, without forcing it. The wood or steel will go as far as it wants. The computer will lie - it will render a line that the wood will not give you, that the steel will fight. In the real material the slightest mistake can be reworked to be the highlight of the piece. I can see that the way I work is building into a library of experience and that as I go forward I will be able to know what oak will do that ash will not and how to have hickory meet mild steel in a way that feels natural.
I have most recently been been influenced by traditional American craft and the forms found in the woods.
And sometimes you just have to make a chair that is part deer and part Windsor.