Welsh Stick Chair Class Complete


After five long days in the shop, Chris Williams has sent six new Welsh stick chairs into the wilds of America. My hope is that these chairs work like seeds, and an appreciation for this form will take root and flourish in the United States.

Like with many chairs, it’s difficult to capture its graciousness in photographs. And yet it was photographs that inspired most of the six students to take the class here.

One night after dinner this week, several of the students confessed that they knew little of John Brown when they signed up for the class. Instead, it was the photos of Chris’s chairs that inspired them to sign up (beating out 56 other students now on our waiting list) to be here.


That means we have a lot of work ahead with Chris’s upcoming book, tentatively titled “The Life & Work of John Brown.” John Brown, who died 10 years ago this June, was more than just a chair. He was a set of ideas and philosophies that both inspired and angered people in the United Kingdom, plus a few people in the States who caught wind of his writing.

I think the story of John Brown’s woodworking life plus Chris’s instructions on building his Welsh stick chair will inspire a new generation. It worked with the six students here this week, who were treated to hours of evening conversations about John Brown, woodworking and life in Wales. So let’s hope this approach works on several thousand more people as well.

As to future classes, Chris has agreed to come back to Covington, Ky., next year to teach another six students. We’ll post details on the class as soon as we settle on dates for the class.

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. For more of of Chris’s work, follow him on Instagram (@welshchairmaker) or use the hashtag #WilliamsWelshChair to see more examples of his design.

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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11 Responses to Welsh Stick Chair Class Complete

  1. craig regan says:

    Was there ever a rocking chair version of these chairs?


  2. toolnut says:

    You had said that Chris builds the chairs a little differently from John so will Chris’ methods to building the chair be in the book or does he present the way John did it? Thanks.


  3. Kevin Adams says:

    Thanks again for the pics and highlights from the week. Look forward to the book and the next class opportunity.


  4. Simon Stucki says:

    let’s hope those chairs also make the jump to continental europe, never ever seen anything like that in switzerland or germany….


  5. jenohdit says:

    My only woodworking philosophy is that those who find themselves getting angry over someone else’s woodworking ideas or philosophy might consider a bong hit or two, a cold beer, or maybe just a walk around the neighborhood.

    Maybe an employer/client has some room for anger over performance, but I see that as an issue somewhat removed from ideas about how/why something should be done or not.


  6. Kyle Barton says:

    As one of lucky ones that got to attend this inaugural class, it was a fantastic learning experience. Not only in learning new skills and techniques, but in the philosophy and common sense that Chris Williams and John Brown bring to their work.

    I also learned that pretty much every major invention and step forward in science and literature can be attributed to the Welsh 😉


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