Thanks to the talented Fiorenzo Borghi for shooting this piece for me at 3rd Ward’s photo studios. This chair, titled “Raise”, is a progression of the original Cherry chair. The chair is an investigation into incorporating the shaping of hard lines to accentuate the flowing lines of the rails and stretchers. The original chair relies on upholstery and padding for the seat and back while “Raise” uses a traditional hand carved seat and back to make a more harmonious piece. It has a permanent gallery on the Portfolio page.
As the previous rocker update post mentioned, the way the head rest and back spindles meet your spine is crucial to the comfort of the chair. Engineering the proper ergonomic shape for a chair is one of the most challenging aspects of the build. In this case, Maloof has already figured out this particular shape and angle making this process slightly easier. The rest of the comfort factor now relies on the shaping of the spindles shown below.
Sitting on a rocking chair is only half the game. The rest is how comfortable your head and back are as they rest against the head rest and slats. This gallery details the construction, layout and preliminary shaping of the head rest. Notice the grain in the center of both the front and back of the head rest stock. That “eye” of grain is the optimal look to draw in the potential sitter and invite them to touch and then try out the chair. It also looks damn sexy.
Once the dowels were made, I was able to finish the layout and drilling of the arm to back leg connection. Nothing to crazy here, just making sure that the screws end up in a meaty part of the arm that I will not be shaping in to.
The joinery for the Maloof rocker is rather simple. The front leg to arm and front leg to rocker connections are a simple dowel and glue joint. I felt that with the time and effort already going into this chair that turning my own dowels wouldn’t matter and add a bit of character to the chair. Plus, I couldn’t find any oak dowels that fit my 1/2″ drilled mortise properly.
One of the great advantages to working in a space like 3rd Ward is the ability to easily collaborate with other artists. Andrew Erdos is a glass blower with his own studio space in the same building as 3rd Ward. A few months ago he asked me to make him 5 pedestals to display his work. This has now become a regular occurrence and the gallery below takes you thru the build of a pedestal that will reside in a collectors house in Miami.
This pedestal is unique because it will be recessed into a wall and the front panel is on latches that allow it to be opened and access gained to the tv and lights that are housed within. This build also involved a secondary pedestal to hold the flat screen tv horizontal, which is an integral part of the whole work. It’s a great privilege to make a simple piece that is fully incorporated into the overall aesthetic and structure of another artists piece. These installations are quite amazing and if you can you should check them out in person.