Friday, May 25, 2012

Old Friends and Windsor Chairs Again!

I recently made contact with some old friends, a couple that I had met on the airplane when moving to England to do chair making within the wonderful traditions that exist there for the craft.  Mr and Mrs Sano were also moving to England to live for awhile,  Mr Sano is a professional photographer, and more often than not can be seen with his camera in his hand. It had been thirty-five years since I last had seen or spoken to these very kindly and otherwise enjoyable people.   They had asked me to make two dining chairs for them after we did get together again, and they visited my shop one day last year.

The Sano's current dining arrangement is a mix of an antique English table with chairs of different designs, all purchased after they had mover back to Japan and found in a shop here.  The chairs I would be building for them would be replacing two of the existing ones, that were to continue finding use in another part of the residence.

The specifics of the design were to come up with something similar to some early work that the couple saw and liked in my portfolio, and that the choice of wood be American Black Walnut.  They wanted a relatively simple chair without arms.  I took the liberty of adding some Japanese Cherry for the back laths.  I have always liked the combination of Walnut and Cherry, thinking the grain and colors of the two woods play off of each other well.  Also, to my eye, the Cherry tends to lighten up the visual heaviness of the dark Walnut. The two woods will age gracefully together.  The photos below are of one of the Sano's new chairs, a commission I immensely enjoyed thinking about and making, for some folks that I consider good friends.

The Sanos picked up the chairs on a beautiful weather day.  We went up to an airy soba noodle restaurant to have lunch, at the base of some mountains nearby. An old temple is also there to explore, with a waterfall directly behind it that sends out a chilly mist.  The mountain snow is melting now and the streams are running full.