While teaching in England in the summer of 2015, Roy Underhill and I had a day off together and headed to Stratford-upon-Avon with his wife, Jane, to check out all things William Shakespeare.
While touring Hall’s Croft, where Shakespear’s daughter lived, both Roy and I became fascinated with a small primitive chair in a corner by some stairs. There was no evidence the chair was anything important, that it had been owned by the family or was even from the 17th century. But it was charming, and Roy and I took lots of photos of it.
We both got the bug to build a reproduction. But Roy beat me to it for this season of “The Woodwright’s Shop.” Check out the two-part episodes here:
Episode One on the Welsh Stick Chair.
Episode Two on the Welsh Stick Chair.
While visiting Roy this fall I got to sit in the chair. It is tiny – good thing I don’t have much of a butt. And the visit only strengthened my resolve to build one myself.
With all my furniture commissions complete for the year and all my editing under control (thanks Kara!), I started making the Hall’s Croft chair this morning. I won’t be able to make it out of elm, but I am going to stay true to the size and rough spirit of the original.
It’s an odd feeling to get to start a project without a customer, article or need to satisfy (other than my curiosity). But here we go.
— Christopher Schwarz