A couple weeks ago I got to look over Don Williams’ version of the Gragg chair, an incredible early-American example of a steam-bent elastic chair.
Made from oak that Don harvested himself, the chair is incredibly lightweight, flexible and comfortable. It’s like sitting in an exo-skeleton that is hinged in all the right places. And if I didn’t already know a good deal about Samuel Gragg’s chairs, I’d have guessed that the chair was a contemporary design.
OK, so if you aren’t up to speed on Gragg’s work, check out Williams’ article on building the chair in the current American Period Furniture journal, the annual publication of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers. Read this blog entry I wrote about the chairs as Williams was building them. And check out several kinds of Gragg chairs here.
Williams is considering making these chairs for market and is perfecting the tricky jigs and techniques required to make them. And he’s tweaking a couple joints to prevent the chairs from failing (he’s seen enough of those while at the Smithsonian).
Here’s a known fact about Christopher Schwarz: he enjoys beer. And here’s a little-known fact about me: I do not enjoy beer. (But I do love bourbon.)
With the 2012 Woodworking in America Midwest conference coming up in about two weeks, I suspect there might be a bar bill or three to cover. I suspect it will exceed my credit card limit. So, on eBay, I’ve up for auction two of the three copies of the long-sold-out 2008 hardcover “The Art of Joinery” I have in my woodworking library. (I’m hanging on to the last one … until I need money for a kidney transplant.) There is no reserve, and the starting bid on each is 99 cents.
Both of these books are signed by Christopher, and on one copy, Chris drew in a mustache on the frontispiece portrait of Joseph Moxon. I do not know why. There was probably beer involved.
All proceeds will be used to cover libations at Woodworking in America (and one bottle of ibuprofen). So if you win, you can be proud that your money is going to an excellent cause (Pappy van Winkle 15-year, and IPA).
Our shipment of “Grandpa’s Workshop” arrived late yesterday and – thanks to some help from friends – we got the first 400 packed up before bedtime.
The printing quality of the book is top shelf – it was worth the delays and headaches. I think you will be pleased by both the story and the physical object itself.
If you ordered the book from Lost Art Press, your book (or books) will be in the mail today or tomorrow. If you are waiting for it to arrive at one of our retailers – Lee Valley Tools, Lie-Nielsen Toolworks, Highland Hardware, Tools for Working Wood or Classic Handtools in the U.K. – their books are on the way.
After publishing four new titles in 16 months, I have decided what I want for Christmas: a loading dock. But that’s not gonna happen.