|Project by Roz||posted 05-24-2011 05:34 PM||2115 views||0 times favorited||10 comments|
When I found this chair it was in pretty sad shape. I refused it as a project for 6 months or more but something about its look and construction kept calling me back. It was a wreck with a broken back post, missing slat and rotted seat and years of dirt from life in a barn.
I made the repairs to the post; cut, bent and replaced the missing slat, cleaned and sanded it down. I stained the frame with Minwax Fruitwood stain after a coat of Lemon oil. I then replaced the White Oak Splint seat. Even though it did not originally have a finish on it, I applied a Minwax Antique Oil finish to brighten it up a bit. When I began to work on it I realized it was likely much older than I had assumed it to be. It is completely assembled from pegs and hand shaped. Not one nail in it. The joints are still tight and are mortised and pinned. The community I found the chair in was going strong by the 1830’s. That is old for a state settled around 1816. The chair could be as old as the 1830’s. When working on an old piece like this I like to consider the journey it has made, the skill and character of the maker and the lives it has touched. I suspect this chair brought joy to several children over its years of useful life. Now the little chair can offer many more years of service and joy. I had planned to put it in a local antique shop but my wife claimed it for our nephew’s youngest son, age 2 years. That’s fine by me because I can’t get my big ^$ in it. I hope Gus enjoys his chair, and some day his children too.
-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."