Furniture conservator and cabinetmaker Martin O’Brien sent us these intriguing images of low workbenches being used by Spanish woodworkers to build ladderback chairs. And, to add to the multicultural mix, it comes from a book in Japanese.
To me it looks like there are two benches at work here. In the foreground, the guy with the nifty hat is working on spindles. On the bench on the left, the other woodworker is assembling the chair frames.
And it looks like it’s all taking place in a cave.
“One could almost say that it is a cross between a Roman workbench and shave horse. This shop could very well be a cave in Southern Spain. Makes sense that Roman traditions would still have a serious toehold in this region.
“If you need anymore information, I can get the Japanese person who gave me this book to provide some translations. Next time I go to Spain, I’m gonna find these guys.”
I’d love to learn more about these benches. Thanks Martin. It’s fascinating to see these benches in use in southern Europe and northern Europe (Estonia).
— Christopher Schwarz