I was asked to make a second reproduction of Vidar's Chair. Although I don't normally get excited about reproducing historic works, this chair is an exception. I learned a great deal making the first chair and enjoyed the process very much. So, when asked to make a second, I was delighted. On this occasion, in addition to its usual challenges of joinery and grain graphics, it presented me with a new one. It involved the difficulty I encountered finding high quality white oak material that had been dried properly. It's a long story of starts and stops, but I'm very happy that I — and my kind and knowledgeable client — persevered. Finally, as a slight variation from the original design, this iteration sports a seat woven in the Scandinavian Mid-Century Modern furniture tradition.
For those of you new to this chair, here's a bit of background on this historic piece. It's a reproduction of a 1970 design by Vidar Malmsten, a Swedish furniture maker and friend of James Krenov, the internationally renowned furniture maker and educator. Many woodworking students who have studied the ways of James Krenov have learned chair making with this chair. It demands a lot from each student with its sophisticated use of grain graphics, finely sculpted parts, and joinery that reveal increasing complexity with each successive joint, from simple 90° live mortise and tenon, to floating mortise and tenon compound angled joinery on the curve.
Materials White oak and Danish cord
Finish Oil and resin blend; shellac on Danish cord seat
Dimensions 21" deep x 21 1/4" wide x 32 5/8" tall
Status This commissioned piece resides in the client's British Columbia home