I made a chair sometime back that will be documented in the chair build section of my forthcoming book, “The Life & Work of John Brown.” Apart from my use of a battery-powered drill, it is pretty true to how I was taught by John Brown. I have kept this chair for the sometime, but alas it has found a fine new home close to where I live.
The hunt was on for a suitable location to photograph it for the book. Heather Birnie, the photographer, and I visited a few properties and settled on a wonderful local Welsh farmhouse. The owners already own two of my chairs and were happy to help. They also run a gin distillery at the farm, Jin Talog. I also had a trump card up my sleeve. I had been offered to borrow what is reputed to be the last chair that John Brown ever made.
This made the day a special one, as I hadn’t seen that chair since 2002. The scalloping of the comb had a memorable story behind it as we both had an adventure a year earlier where we got to see an 18th-century Welsh stick chair chair with a similar detail. JB was inspired to replicate the detail in his own way. John Brown had strangely forgotten to chamfer the ends of the legs – one had chipped whilst dragged across the floor. It was a quick fix, and I gave it a coat of wax polish. It’s a fine chair that sits well and comfortable. I felt honoured to spend a few days with his last ever chair.
Note: These are just snapshots. Heather’s beautiful photos are still being processed.