As I began sketching my second project in the chair making journey, I realized that in order to get a good handle on proportion, I needed to make use of my new familiarity with Vidar's Chair. I studied this by translating the physical chair back into drawing form. Above you see a small-scale sketched version of Vidar's Chair. I used that as a foundation to work from.
As much as I'd like to reinvent the chair with something spectacular, I realize that an incremental approach would make more sense. There are many factors that enter into the design and making of a chair, so for this one, I decided to limit the variables to keep the focus on the quality of those changes.
I began moving in the direction of a lower, minimized back rest, more suitable for "active" sitting; not so much for lounging. Traditional Danish cord will be used in a woven seat along with a simple wrap to provide texture to the back rest.
The 2D sketch above became this SketchUp model below. These thumbnail images are a bit small, so be sure to click on them to see an enlarged version.
How did I create the model? Well, below you can see a few of the virtual "jigs" I used in SketchUp as I defined the shapes of all the chair parts.
Next came the joinery.
Here's a detail of the joinery where the seat rails and stretchers meet the front leg.
And, the completed model.
The Layout tool that comes with SketchUp Pro allowed me to print out full size drawings of the parts. I'll use portions of the drawings to make templates to transfer the shapes onto the wood.
Forest Products Supply came through for me again. I was really lucky to land some air-dried black walnut that is ready to cut into. Beautiful color! Mostly straight grain, with a couple of curves that may be useful for the back legs. We'll soon see.
I can't wait to get started with the making.
Hej då and happy shavings!
Craig Johnson is a fiscal year 2012 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible in part by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
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