Jefferson Swivel and Secretary

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Fan Back Chairs

Here is the finished chairs for an order going to a house on the island of Nantucket. The order also includes the "Titanic" settee, an 8 foot long Sack Back Settee that came out perfect in my opinion. I had a nice day finally after all the rain we have gotten to take these outside and set them in the nice green grass and get some photos taken. I think the green background makes them look really good and the light from the sun shows off better than a flash can do.

This is one of the two Nantucket Fan Back arm chairs for the order. All this is pretty faithful to the old ones except I use my own turning style (based off of Curtis Buchanan's and Peter Galbert's styles) and the rake and splay of the leg angles are of my own interpreting. I've never had any training or taken a class to learn how to make chairs or anything for that matter, I just kind of went for it and I do have to say that after 10-11 years of making furniture I've still got some things I'd like to improve. 

Building the side chairs for this order was actually the easiest part of it. I had 8 of these to make and they just all came out within an 1/8" other each other, but even so, side chairs are easier to make because you have fewer parts to make and paint.  I have been asked what is the hardest thing about building furniture and my answer is always, the paint, stain and finish. One persons idea of wear is different from anothers almost every time. Some people like a paint finish with no wear at all, some want more wear than I like to do. Theres a line you have to tip toe around with that, because in all honesty the finish is the most important aspect of a piece. You can build the most beautiful piece of furniture and put a bad finish on it and it can ruin it, however you put a great finish on a bad piece and it will make the piece into something spectacular. The hard part is doing both on the same piece. Once you can achieve that you've got something special.

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