Back at Chair School – day 2

I always feel that when I’m at Tresithick that I make fewer mistakes than when I’m in my own workshop and that the quality of what I’m producing feels that bit better.

In actual fact, I’m not sure that’s the case at all. For a start I would never put my name to anything that I wasn’t completely happy with so deep down I’m confident that I’m not a complete disaster unsupervised. What I’ve realised this week is that I feel more confident in my skills here because I have someone telling me that what I’m doing is correct. In my workshop at home I don’t have an expert on hand to offer me this reassurance so I’m completely reliant on my own judgement and of course my own doubts. What a week like this does for me is top up my self belief so that I can go home safe in the knowledge that more often than not, I know what I’m doing!

And so to day 2 of the course and the wingback is starting to take shape. Not as much progress today as I’d hoped for, but an important day learning a new method for covering arms so well worth taking my time.

The aim of today was to make a sewn cover, a little like a sock that will encapsulate the whole arm and then be fixed into place. To start, I attached the arm fabric and the panel for the front of the arm, setting their positions with tacks and pins. Getting the fit right at this stage means that when the two panels are sewn together that same great fit should remain

A much better way of doing things
A much better way of doing things

You then take these two panels from the arm and use them as templates for the other arm… being very careful to reverse them because two right arms isn’t a great look.

The two front panels ready for their piping
The two front panels ready for their piping

Once you have your panels and your piping made up, you can sew your piping to the front panels and then the arm panel to the front panel.

Some super neat sewing even if I say so myself!
Some super neat sewing even if I say so myself!

And there we have it, the completed arm sections ready to be adjusted, tensioned and fitted for good.

Some more fettling will take place tomorrow for a perfect fit
Some more fettling will take place tomorrow for a perfect fit

Now, the eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed something a little different about the chair in the last photo. Yes, as much as they were loved, those gold legs have gone. The funniest thing about them is that whoever did it clearly had the chair against a wall…..they didn’t bother to paint the backs! Economical.

Annie Sloan to the rescue. Graphite looks so much better than patchy gold.
Annie Sloan to the rescue. Graphite looks so much better than patchy gold.
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2 thoughts on “Back at Chair School – day 2

  1. A fettled chair. I like it!
    ‘Tis looking great Jon. Love the colour you chose for the legs too. Almost wish I was there watching you transform it, but that would probably be a nightmare for you 🙂 so pleased it’s being documented though. It’ll be something to show the family at Christmas x

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