Making this rocking chair has been rich reward for me. I’ve created some unusual and unlikely methods that contradict tradition and wisdom, lightened up the design, and simplified the alternative to compound shoulders to tenons. This is the first design for our sellershome.com range for the living room and I do feel very excited about the coming years for designing all the pieces anyone might need and want to make to furnish their whole house. I do hope that you and your friends and family will join us for this exciting journey into designing your home pieces.
All my bends are laminations but additional shaping took me a whole day with a spokeshave, a rasp, file and a scraper. I have customised it to fit me but it will suit anyone smaller and some bigger. I think anyone making this chair will find the work interesting and rewarding. I have made one in a mix of softwoods, the initial prototype, a second prototype, this one featured here, in solid oak and currently I’m making the last one in black cherry. This will be my fourth rocker in 6 weeks.
Last night, with the rocker on my bench and the last coat of shellac highlighting the grain to bring out the medullary rays, I suddenly felt the flush joy brings in the completion of something you made. With days of working alone in the making, I realised that I just felt joyful. When I worked with men as a boy I rarely saw such a thing but here, alone, late in the day, I felt the smile form and my heart lift.
It’s always been like that for me. I have never supressed it and I have never disallowed expressing the happiness I feel which might be more the culture of the British. Not expressing happiness seems completely strange and especially so in the making processes. I recall my mother’s face when she finished yet another wedding dress and the bride-to-be stood in radiance with a perfect fit. She fussed like a mother hen until every pleat fell just right. I think I got the ability to express joy from her!
So here I am. Saturday night, 9.30pm, rocking back and forth, enveloped in the arms of my new rocking chair feeling pretty chuffed with myself. I rock for a little while and listen to a favourite song, coffee to my right and a pleasant smile releasing the endorphins that come only from making. How I got to this point is catalogued in my shop journal and I glimpse at the drawings to see different points of change.
This will likely become my personal work chair for writing in from now on. Working through the steps it gets new woodworkers to this level of craftsmanship with hand tools has been pure joy for me. My foundation courses on commonwoodworking.com and woodworkingmasterclasses.com have paved the way for hundreds and thousands of woodworkers worldwide. This fact alone brings me great joy and causes the same smile to cross my face day after day.