Stick Chairs of the World, Unite!


I’ve long been obsessed with Welsh stick chairs. But if you’ve known me for more than 5 minutes, you know I’m going to prod the historical record to see what else might be lurking in the dim corners of early homes.

Stick chairs can be found in many cultures. In fact, every culture that researcher Suzanne Ellison and I start investigating has some variant of this chair.

This is no surprise. A stick chair is a logical answer to the question: How do you build a chair quickly with few tools and few materials?


For this blog entry, I pulled some of the photos we’ve collected from Western Europe. What I love about these examples is how the same idea is interpreted slightly differently. Some of these are – to my eye – sublime (even if they are intended for night soil).

— Christopher Schwarz

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Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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7 Responses to Stick Chairs of the World, Unite!

  1. jbrocon says:

    Mr. Schwarz, Saw the attached ad on Craig’s List last February and thought  you might like to see.

    J. Brooks

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android


  2. Jordi S. says:

    Not a stick chair but a chair to help the labour of childbirth.


  3. Jordi says:

    Not a stick chair but a chair to help the labor of childbirth:


  4. It’s quite obvious what has happened here. Wales was invaded from Europe so often that they all took a fine looking Welsh stick chair back with them and copied it……


  5. Peter Corfield says:

    I’d say the first photo is a lovely commode chair.


  6. Shawn Graham says:

    Hi guys: Just returned from Europe myself, and found a few cool examples in Hungary and Austria attached. One chair in a museum in Budapest, one stool with a drawer in a winery building I got to explore from Roman times in Wachau Valley outside of Vienna. They even let me check out the underside. Let me know if you would like any more information on either. Thanks, Shawn Graham – Albino Deer Woodworks



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