Editor’s note: In today’s chair chat we discuss a chair that is so beautiful it makes Chris write poetry. We are unsure about its heritage, but it could be from Wales. Or further east. As Chris was smoking his ham, we found that we love this chair to bits, despite its possibly fake tits. Oh, did I mention to beware the salty language? Sorry!
Rudy: So who brought the chair for today?
Klaus: I got the green chair if that’s the one. Where is Chris?? Smoking his ham again?
Rudy: A man’s gotta do what he’s gotta do.
Chris: Sorry. Downloading the green chair photos.
Klaus: Are you on a cable modem?
Rudy: Old school, man.
Chris: 14.4 baud
Klaus: Haha I forgot about baud!
Rudy: Alrighty then, let’s go.
Chris: “Green chair. My pants are a mess. I love you. You the best.” That’s my poem for that chair.
Rudy: Now that’s some fine poetry.
Chris: This might be the best chair we’ve chatted about.
Rudy: I love the splay and the general appearance, beautiful.
Klaus: The stance of it, the whole thing is just too beautiful.
Chris: I mean, this chairmaker made broomstick legs look amazing.
Rudy: I love the short sticks being all bent but somehow making perfect sense.
Chris: It’s like the top of the chair bulges.
Klaus: If they are branches, he did a great job collecting them. Perfect proportions.
Rudy: And this chair really looks great from all sides. Not bad for a Chinese fake!
Chris: So let’s talk about the fake allegation.
Klaus: A knowledgeable person we know has mentioned to us that this could be a fake. He said it could be Chinese.
Chris: But it says something about these chairs if there are fakes out there. They are desirable enough that people would go to a lot of trouble to make a fake.
Rudy: …and do a good job while at it! I think the beauty is hard to deny here.
Klaus: Yes, my attitude has been totally naive towards this. I personally really don’t care if it’s fake. But as Chris says, it says something about the market.
Chris: That’s my only point. I like the chair no matter what.
Klaus: But if this is a fake, the maker is really good. I mean, this is not just a copy of something. If it’s fake, it’s still made with inspiration.
Chris: It’s not a copy of anything we’ve seen.
Rudy: I will say though, the more I look at it, the more I can see a PIER1 finish specialist at work..
Chris: Even if the finish is fake, I wish I could replicate it
Klaus: Right, it’s just perfect.
Rudy: It sure is not a copy of anything on the internet! But when I look at that armbow joint, I worry a little.
Klaus: Yes, that arm joint is quite peculiar.
Chris: The armbow joint is similar to one I made on my first chair a million years ago. But the rabbet/rebate was bigger.
Rudy: Did yours survive? Or are you making ham with it right now.
Chris: My chair survived. You can sit on it in November and laugh at it.
Rudy: My first thought would be to put a stick right through that joint, to make sure everything stays together.
Chris: That’s a pretty Irish approach.
Rudy: Maybe because I am part Irish.
Klaus: OK Paddy ol’Paddy. What I do love perhaps the most here is the proportions of the whole chair. The back is just perfect.
Rudy: Agree with that. The chair as a whole is a real beauty.
Klaus: The sticks above the arm are just slightly longer than under. Which I love. The short sticks are branches, yeah?
Rudy: Looks like it. And they also seem pegged into the armbow.
Klaus: Yes, and into the comb, too. If you zoom in to the right there.
Chris: I see the pegs into the crest. Not the armbow.
Rudy: There is something peg like, but in the wrong places. Or is that the picture?
Klaus: Yeah, he missed the sticks with his pegs?!
Chris: Yes. One would miss the stick. It might be a glob of paint. You do see that on some chairs. But the finish might be really heavy (and new?).
Klaus: Good point, would be strange if a paint glob stayed on for 200 years.
Rudy: Yes, I see what you mean about the globs of paint. They appear in more places, for instance the back.
Klaus: But it would also be strange if the fake maker let it stay..
Chris: There are globs on the underside of the arm.
Rudy: It all sort of matches. Is the centre piece of the armbow two pieces? Look from the back.. may be a pencil line..?
Klaus: Yeah I saw that as well. Doesn’t make sense!
Chris: Looks like a butt joint. Nothing on the front. WEIRD.
Klaus: Perhaps there’s a domino joint or a pocket screw in there..
Rudy: Yes, who knows what he used.
Chris: Really bad and wrong place for a butt joint. And the chair would not have likely survived. Not 200 years. Not 2 years. My guess is it’s a scar in the finish.
Rudy: Exactly. And the rest of the arm doesn’t give me a stable feeling either.
Klaus: Could those globs be something else that’s mixed into the paint? Some crude finish recipe?
Chris: Crappy paint can have globs of pigment.
Klaus: Hm. Well, we’ll never know, I guess. The point should be that the finish looks fantastic. Makes me want to try to replicate it.
Chris: I want to remake this chair with a better arm joint.
Rudy: Do you guys know how Pier1 finishes their furniture? Probably done overseas too?
Chris: Hard to say. This finish looks better than most fake finishes
Klaus: Don’t know what it is, I have to admit. What is Pier1?
Chris: Pier1 is a middlebrow importer of foreign stuff. It’s supposed to look third-world rustic.
Rudy: They alter the appearance of the furniture to mimic wear and tear, like rust and flaking paint.
Chris: This chair is a better design than 100 percent of the stuff in a Pier1.
Rudy: But I’m sure this chair would fetch a pretty penny in an antique store, if sold as authentic!
Chris: We have cabinetmakers here that fake that finish all the time. With torches etc. People love it. I have to give the maker a big compliment on the short sticks. I would have never curved them like a globe. I really dig it.
Klaus: Haha, yes it’s a bold move!
Rudy: The short sticks were the first thing that screamed at me. So unusual! That combined with the nice splay makes a really nice looking chair. Worthy of a replica, fake or not.
Chris: Agree. The other great detail is the seat shape. The seat is similar to chairs at St. Fagans where the ends mimic the hands on the armbow. That tells me whoever made this chair knew something about Welsh chairs.
Rudy: Yes, I love that. Here they are quite worn though. They look more square to me than round (like the hands).
Chris: Agree. But it’s the gross shape that they imitate. Like a shadow.
Klaus: Really great details on this one. This chair made me think earlier today: Where does the line go between “furniture of necessity” and “fine furniture”? Sometimes chairmakers really put their soul into it, like here. Is it still just “furniture of necessity”?
Chris: Really great forms can transcend the other stuff.
Rudy: I agree, it is an interesting thought and a fine line I think. Some of these makers were true artists, with all the details they put into their chairs.
Klaus: In Norway, we’ve got an expression for furniture like this. I’m not sure if there’s an English equivalent, but the word is “Brukskunst.” Bruks = for use. Kunst = art.
Chris: Nice. We don’t have word for it. Nice s*&t..?
Rudy: Yes, I think it is a very fitting term.
Chris: “Brukskunst” in English sounds like a disease from between the legs.
Klaus: I would love to hear you pronounce it.
Rudy: Brick c*&t?
Chris: That’s what we would say.
Klaus: Oh dear, can’t have that! Well, anyway, I do think that there’s a fine line between folksy furniture of necessity made by the local bodger or wheelbarrow, and the really fine furniture pieces like this.
Chris: Yeah, even if it’s fake it sings. And makes me write poetry. Bad poetry.
Klaus Skrudland: Yeah, I want more of that.
Chris: “Oh chair of green…. are you a fake?”
“You look like weirdo painted but beautiful rake”
Rudy: I think this is the first chair you have written a poem about, Chris.
Chris: “The overseas Welsh are pretty good makers.
Even if their chairs are all fakers…”
Rudy: They are from far east Wales!
Rudy: “Such nice splay, I don’t know what to say…”
Chris: “Perhaps you will make this chair someday.”
Rudy: “If I can get my way..”
Chris: “Your legs are like sticks that are stolen from brooms.”
Rudy: So poetic, I love it.
Klaus: I’m just in awe of your poetic skills.
Rudy: “Your sticks are all bent, like trees in the wind on a fall day.”
Chris: “I wish I could lick you in your lovely splay.”
Chris: “This chair is amongst the most fair….”
Rudy: “It does not needs balls, not even with hair.”
Klaus: Everything is right here, all the angles, the dimensions of all the pieces. The seat height even.
Klaus: Sorry to interrupt your poetry evening!
Rudy: In some way it is the most perfect form I have seen. Amongst others, of course.
Chris: And that is why it would be funny if it were a fake.
Klaus: The crest.
Chris: The crest!
Klaus: It’s also perfect. But something happened to it.
Chris: A beaver got one corner.
Rudy: The faker slipped with his router.
Klaus: “The crest is like a gentle breast.”
Chris: “It adds to the chair’s roly poly zest?”
Rudy: “I think it looks the best.”
Klaus: Beautiful shape. Love that triangular shape on the top
Chris: Yes. Now I keep thinking: It’s too perfect.
Klaus: This chair is like a “Best Of” collection.
Rudy: Yes. and very well done! It has everything.
Klaus: Finally, folks! The Best of Welsh Stick Chairs assembled into one! Now for sale. Call 1-800-WELSH-CHINA-CHAIR.
Chris: Except the armbow joint looks really bockety.
Rudy: Made from actual parts FROM WALES.
Klaus: Haha. I would make that call.
Rudy: I can only imagine how difficult it must be to make a good fake. You have to really nail it with the wonkiness and mistakes here and there. I guess that’s why the arm is the way it is.
Chris: What would be even funnier is if the chair were not a fake. And we are trashing it. It’s a hard line to walk.
Klaus: Haha.. we would get sued by the Welsh government.
Chris: Or the dealer….
Klaus: But seriously, I hope it’s not fake. I really don’t wanna know. It would make me so disillusioned.
Rudy: Imagine reading the chair chats all excitedly as you just bought a nice Welsh Stick Chair. And then you click on this chat.
Klaus: That would be a bummer.
Rudy: Or an honour!
Klaus: The buyer would s*&t his pants in his newly bought fake chair.
Chris: Or not. It’s still a great form. Actually, a stain would add some authenticity to the finish.
Klaus: Maybe that’s the secret trick to this finish. Human poop.
Rudy: I would have bought this chair, probably
Chris: If it were the right price, me too
Klaus: We had to mention poop and farts here anyway.
Chris: That must be the globs on the arm. Perhaps it’s Irish poop.
Rudy: Can I just write one thing, in case the maker is reading this?
Klaus: Can I add something to that?