I don’t like making up names for furniture components. Not because I want to be pedantic. But because I want to avoid confusion. If something has a name (fiddleback maple) I would rather use that name than make one up (maple on a lot of acid).
One name that has escaped me for years is on a chair. The swoops next to the seat’s pommel – what are those areas called? I’ve consulted all my furniture books and haven’t found anything that made sense. So I grudgingly called them “leg swoops” in “The Stick Chair Book Revised Edition.”
Last week Aspen Golann was helping teach a class here and I asked her if she knew what they were called.
After a minute of thinking, Aspen remembered that the conservators at Winterthur called them “cups.”
Brilliant and perfect – cups! That’s what I’m calling them from here on out. I updated the anatomy section of my book to reflect this. I also added a few more terms that I stumbled on while digging through a bunch of books on chairs. The three anatomy drawings are included below. If you download them and print them out, they will be high resolution (about 300 dpi).
Better hang them up in your shop and memorize them, because there will be a quiz.
— Christopher Schwarz