When I sent “The Stick Chair Book” to press in June, my plan was to immediately launch into my next book project. But then I took a look at our family’s finances, and I knew that idea was unwise.
When you don’t sell any furniture or teach any classes for 56 weeks in a row, you feel the pinch – even though Lucy and I have zero debt.
So I started making and selling spec chairs as fast as I could. And now, five months later, I am cooking meatloaf tonight for dinner – so our bank balance is definitely better. Tomorrow I will ship out the last of a run of Hobbit-y chairs and begin on my next book project. Here are the details.
As I was writing “The Stick Chair Book,” I wanted to cover everything – and I mean everything – that I’ve learned about making these chairs. But it simply wasn’t physically possible to shoehorn it all into one volume. So I decided instead to focus only on the core techniques, plus plans for five chair forms. (Despite my narrower focus, “The Stick Chair Book” is a whopping 632 pages.)
Then, my plan was to write a series of smaller books that covered additional chair forms and the techniques particular to that kind of chair. These books would be paperback and similar in size to John Brown’s “Welsh Stick Chairs” – 7.25” x 9.625” and 104 pages or so.
If the first book does well, then I’ll keep writing these smaller books until people get sick of them or I run out of chair forms to explore.
The first book in the series will be about a Welsh form of chair that I call the “boxy comb-back.” These handsome chairs have a rectangular seat and armbow, which gives them the squarish look of an old Volvo (I’ve owned three Volvo 240s and adore them, FYI.)
One of the delightful aspects of these chairs is that they sometimes have three legs. I’ve never built a comb-back with three legs, so that will be exciting. Plus, the chairs’ armbows offer the opportunity for some cool joinery, such as a long diagonal scarf.
I’ve purchased the wood for the first two chairs for the book and hope to start processing it tomorrow.
If these two chairs come out OK, I’ll definitely put them up for sale here. I do not want to experience the heartbreak of another meatloaf deficiency.
— Christopher Schwarz