When I travel overseas, I sometimes take melatonin to help my body adjust to a new time zone. The good news: I think it works. The weird news: I have the strangest dreams when I take it.
This month, I’m in the U.K. to teach a few classes, take in some sights and do some serious chair research in High Wycombe, Wales and Ireland. Right now, I’m in London teaching a couple classes organized by Derek Jones at the school where he works, London Design & Engineering UTC.
On the night after my plane arrived, I was tossing about in the hotel bed, worried about the details of the chair class that was to begin the next morning. I took a tablet of melatonin and dreamt of chairs.
In the dream, I made a stick chair using plywood. The plywood arm was only one piece (and it had a doubler laminated on top). Here was the weird part – I was totally calm about the one-piece arm because there is no short grain in plywood.
Then I saddled the plywood seat and was fascinated by revealing the plies below with a travisher. It was like making a topographic map. The legs and crest were also plywood. The sticks were solid wood (I think).
When I woke up, I took a long hot shower to calm my pre-teaching jitters and realized that my dream wasn’t entirely stupid. In fact, by the time I had dried myself off, I had resolved to build a plywood stick chair.
Yes, I know you don’t like it. Please file your complaints with our Complaint Office.
Heck, I don’t even know if I like it, but I do know that I have to build it. When an idea gets under my skin – even a stupid idea – the only way to exorcise it is to construct it. So I’m going to pick up some Baltic birch ply when I get home and give it a go.
— Christopher Schwarz