I’m in love with my egg chair

There’s something about this egg chair that I just love! I don’t know if it’s the anticipation of how it’s going to look (I’ve already ear marked a space at home), the tailoring process of attaching the panels directly to the shell for the perfect fit, or simply the way that my Kirkby wool conforms to the lovely shape – I just want to keep hugging it!

The starting point – 5 panels cut
Step 2 – all pinned into place along the desired seam line
Step 3 – trimmed and ready for sewing
Step 4 – all sewn and ready for reattachment

Covering the chair has been unlike anything I’ve done so far – smooth, pin, cut, remove, sew, reattach and repeat! It’s so immensely satisfying.

This is how I left it today, and in just 2 days I can get a real sense of how it’s going to look. The centre cushions will be made when I return in a few weeks and will be sporting a rather lovely teal blue.

I think I’ve borrowed most of the pins at Tresithick

As ever I’ve had a great deal of fun at Tresithick – Richard and the other students have been on fine form, and a special mention has to go to Richard’s new second-in-command, Zoe who has been a real joy to work with.

I can’t wait to come back

Bella pays the occasional visit to help us tidy up

Une Oeuf Already!

Boom boom! I’m sorry about the corny title, I couldn’t resist.

Well it’s been a busy old fortnight so far. I’m really starting to feel the (largely self-enduced) pressure of completing both of my chairs before the Diploma verification deadline. Worst case scenario I could defer until next year and take more time to complete them but I’m eager to get it done this year. 

The seat fabric goes on…

I’d love to blame the fabric or something else outside of my control, but I think the long and the short of it is, traditional upholstery takes time! Yes, the fabric has added an extra element as the velvet needs to be treated with kid gloves, but I’m really pleased with how it looks so there are certainly no regrets. The good news is that I’ve reached a stage where I can confidently tackle its completion in my own workshop. This is where I’ve stopped for now….

Valance is on, so just the sides and back left to do

This of course means that I have been able to start the egg chair, or more specifically, Father Kelly’s egg chair.

Most of the pieces I’ve had to find for this course have been pretty easy to come by; a drop-in seat, a traditional armchair, a Parker-knoll style wingback. However, it turns out that an egg chair is a little more niche. I made the fatal mistake of biding my time, waiting for the perfect chair to pop up on eBay in my local area. Clearly this didn’t happen and so as I started to panic after Christmas, the search had to widen somewhat, as far as Swansea in fact.

This was the only image I had to go on. It was a risk!!

This chair was secured via Gumtree and it has quite a story behind it. As I arrived at the property on the outskirts of Swansea, it turned out to be the house attached to a small Catholic Church. I was met by a local man who told me that the Priest who lived there, Father Kelly had recently retired to the Mother House at the grand age of 95. unable to take all of his belongings, the parishioners had stepped in to find them suitable new homes. This chair was something of a stylish gem that had until now, been unclaimed and was destined for the tip. It was sporting a rather fetching oatmeal loose cover, expertly made (given the challenging shape) and I like to think that it was made by one of the local church goers. I hope to be able to bring it new life.

Check out those curves!
Not very pretty and as it turns out, not the original fabric either

Constructed out of plywood and blown-foam, stripping it down was a mucky job. The leatherette had gone brittle, mouldy and even sticky in parts! This was a definite mask and apron job. Then I discovered that it had been reupholstered at some point as the remnants of another leatherette cover were found. Oh joy, more staples to remove. 

The stripped egg. It’s so light!

Anyway, I’m pleased to report that the shell isn’t in bad nick. A couple of minor cracks have been repaired, some new foam has been added to the outer shell and fabric starts to go on tomorrow. I’m excited to see this transformation which compared to the armchair should be relatively quick! I’ll keep you posted.

Looking better already