I have noticed during this depressed economy that more old chairs are coming out of basements, attics and barns, to regain their rightful places in the home once again. Relics of days gone by, these chairs are taking up residence in the home again and looked upon as objects of beauty.
It is hard to believe that at one time there were ever any caner’s so prolific that when the bottoms wore out that they were just replaced and put back into service again. Some of the chairs that I see coming to me are a good indication that even as much as 50 years ago that caning was not prolific at that time, or else these chairs would not have been put into the darkest corners of the home.
For the person with the chair, they are just chairs, however for me the caner, I see chairs come to me all the time that were handcrafted, not mass produced. Somewhere there was an artisan skilled in furniture making that decided to take wood and build a chair, some beautiful works of craftsmanship, each carefully and meticulously turned on the lathe, with great skill and measurement all details well planned out to create something of beauty for the home. It is shameful that the love and skill that went into the creation of each of these works of art were packed away not to see the light of day for decades to come. The only bright spot, is the fact that they were not discarded, and that now during the depressed economy that people are looking at what they have and now deciding that it is better to fix what we have, instead of buying something new and in most cases of lesser quality than these works of art from yesteryear.
It is just not hand caning that I have seen coming out of attics, but pressed caning, rush, porch rockers just to name a few. This depressed time has made people to look at what they have, and realize that they do have things of value right in their own homes, overlooked and forgotten over the years.
The pictures in this post are chairs that I have found in shops, out by the road, and people have just left on my door step in hopes that I would replace the bottoms in them and find them a good home. Some as you can see are waiting for a bottom to be woven, some the caning has started on.
The black Rush Bottom Chairs were made in Italy and will have new replacement rush bottoms woven into them. There is a set of four of these. All of these will be for sale as soon as the bottoms are woven.
The rocker below is of black walnut, and was handmade. This is my favorite chair of all time, in all the 20 years that I have been caning, this is my favorite. It is of Shaker design, and as patiently been waiting for a bottom for some time. I have not decided if it will have a Rush, Splint, or Shaker Tape Bottom, as would have been common with Shaker Chairs of the period.
I would like to encourage all people to look through what they have in basements, attics and barns and see what works of art they have hidden away and make them beautiful and useful pieces of furniture once again in their homes.