|Project by Stephen Mines||posted 02-17-2011 10:54 PM||1107 views||0 times favorited||2 comments|
A drawing of this double rocker was found while browsing through some old furniture books. I was pretty new on the scene in Los Angeles as a custom furniture maker and was looking for a ‘signature’ piece that was different, eye-catching, and difficult for someone else to duplicate…and I had no work in the shop at the time but lots of Red Oak! My library searches (what Google? in 1975, you did leg work) indicated that there were very few examples extant, most having been worn out from use or lost in house fires (in or out of the fireplace). It was the precursor of the, more or less, modern porch and garden swing, and was often used by courting couples to get to know each other. I milled parts for four, made the mortise and tenons, and assembled each one before taking them apart and shaping the individual parts. I thoujght they were what I needed, and finished them with a fairly heavy distress to make them look old, then went looking for a showroom to represent my work. They were placed in four showrooms: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Orlando, FL. I put a ridiculously high price on them…they weren’t meant to sell but rather to wave my flag and thump my tub…to hopefully help me stand out from the crowd, as I was just a new, little fish in a very big pond. They did get the attention I needed to break through…and helped to open doors. Eventually, years later, the last one was sold off of a showroom floor, for it’s outrageous price. Incidently, while the lozenge reliefs in the back splats and head rest were in the drawing I found, the seat was just a straight slab, it wasn’t shaped for comfort. I took a little leeway over authenticity because it just ‘felt’ better. Life is Good! Constructilon: the back splats, front leg to arm, and legs to rockers are all blind mortise and tenon and pegged; arm to back leg and all rails and stretchers are through mortise and tenon and pegged.
-- Stephen Mines (Saltmines@aol.com)