For the last five weeks we have been shooting and editing a long-form video on how to build a stick chair using simple tools (plus a few – mostly inexpensive – specialty tools that make the job easier, which are covered in the video) with wood from the lumberyard.
The video clocks in at more than four hours long with 18 separate chapters that cover all aspects of construction, from selecting the lumber to applying the finish. The video will be available to stream or download (without any digital rights management). Above is the trailer, which says “Available Now” at the end; you’re getting a sneak peak – it’ll be available on Aug. 15.
Purchasers will also receive a digital file with full-size patterns for the chair shown in the video, which can be printed out at any reprographics firm or office supply store. Plus, notes on the sizes of the chair parts and sources for tools used in the video.
The video will be released on Monday, Aug. 15. For the first two weeks, we will sell it at an introductory price of $50. After that introductory offer, the video (and its downloads) will be $75.
This is our first in-house video for Lost Art Press. For previous videos we hired professional videographers, video editors and sound technicians. While that process produced a slick-looking product, the filming process was difficult and exhausting. Hiring a professional crew is expensive, and so there was always a rush to get the thing shot because of the hourly bill.
Thanks to new technology and a lot of practice on our part during the last two years, we now are confident we can produce high-quality video (and sound) without hiring a crew. As a result, this video was shot in painstaking detail and took five weeks. (It usually takes me two-and-a-half days to build a chair, so this was a sloth-like process.)
We were also able to incorporate graphics and details that had to be glossed over with a professional crew.
This, however, is not cinematic art. (Your spouse will likely sleep through parts.)
I consider the “Build a Stick Chair” video as a companion to “The Stick Chair Book.” But not a substitute. The book took about 56 weeks of work and goes into details that are impossible for a talking head to explain on your television. But the video shows bodily motion in a way that print never can. Some things about chairmaking are so simple if you can just see the process unfold before your eyes.
I’m not saying you should get both the book and the video. Instead, start with the one that appeals to you most. If you are a visual learner, the video is probably the correct choice. If you are first a reader, the book is what I would recommend.
Above is a short trailer I put together that shows some of the processes that are explored in the video. There is a cat in at least one shot.
Thanks to Harper Claire Haynes (our summer intern) who did the bulk of the shooting and editing. And Megan Fitzpatrick, who filled in every day and helped immensely with getting the video into its final semi-polished form.
Last word: Don’t expect a flood of long-form videos from us. Our first love is books. But when we can do a video (and it we think it will help people) we now have the technology and skill to do it.
— Christopher Schwarz
18 thoughts on “Coming Monday: ‘Build a Stick Chair’ Video”
Looking forward to that! However, my 1.5 year old son really loved the background music! Can you tell me what it is?
It is “Needle in a Haystack” by Angel Jose Ruiz Perez.
Although I am very much a reader first, and have the book and have read it four times (with a fifth* on the horizon), given that my motto in life is “why either/or, when there’s both/and”, getting this film next Monday will be bot only a great pleasure but an absolute no-brainer.
What you say above about film capturing bodily motion is spot-on, as was clear already from those short clips you posted from the class a month back or so.
Looking forward so much to looking. And listening. And learning!
Whenever I read or write to word *fifth, I cannot help but think of a quip from banjoist and guitarist Eddie Condon (1905–1973) who, when asked sometime in the 1940s or 50s what in his view was the difference between be-bop and dixieland jazz, replied “the be-boppers flatten their fifths; we drink ours”.
Is there a cliffhanger? You can always sell more videos if there’s a cliffhanger.
Maybe the final shot could be Mr. Creosote waddling towards the chair, starting to sit down … aaaand, cue theme tune and fade-out?!
Dang it. No one told me that secret.
I know a video is not a substitute for attending an in person class. But for someone like me who lives in a country with very few to no classes for this sort of work these videos are invaluable. I am really looking forward to getting this video.
Awesome! Having read the book and attended one of your classes this will surely help bring everything together. What a year for blockbuster movies, first Maverick comes out followed by Build a Stick Chair!
Where can I find more information about the bandsaw jig used on the spindles? Or is that covered in the video?
It is detailed both in my book and the upcoming video
This new video also covers stretchers, saddling a seat, constructing and drilling an armbow – all things that are not covered in the video on the backstool.
I’ve had “no fear chairmaking” for years. Would there be much value in getting this video as well?
And again, Thank You Chris for your forethought and hard work.
You are moving this stick chair thing forward in cool ways. Thanks for putting this together. Happy chairmaking.
This is great. From what I can see on the trailer, the quality of the footage looks really good. Even though I have built a few stick chairs and I feel more and more comfortable with the process, I will be purchasing your video. I know I have much more to learn, and watching you work will definitively be very helpful.
I am so not a chair maker. I am an amateur wood worker with very little skill. But I desire to be more. Not more famous, only more practiced and thus more proficient. I have made beautiful things out of wood, but it has taken me twice as long and cost twice as much. Currently working on a walnut rocker for my 1 year old grand daughter. Then I plan to make a chair. After I watch the video. And maybe read the book. Either way a chair WILL be attempted. And it will be glorious. Probably nor the chair, but certainly the experience.
I would love to come and take a class from you at Lost Art Press.
I live in California and the distance and other issues precludes me from probably ever being able to do so.
Your book and this video will be the next best thing for me.
Again, thank you.
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