Well the week ahead looks like we will be honing our skills on pressed cane and rush seats. In the studio we now have several oak chairs with pressed cane seats, in addition is several nice chairs from a customer in Northern Virinia, that were aquired while they were living in Singapore. These chairs were hand made in Australia and are of Eucalyptus Wood, they are finely detailed with Queen Anne Legs. These chairs are very elegant and have pressed cane seats, as well as backs, however just the seats need replacing.
There are also a pair of Oak dinning room chairs with small pressed cane seats, typical of this style of chair, as compared to the Eucalyptus chairs above, which have the entire sitting area of the chair in pressed/sheet cane.
The final chair in the studio in pressed cane is a black dinning chair, which need gluing and clamping in several places before the seat is replaced.
The Rush chair on hand to do at this time are Hitchcock in design, one having the drop in seat, meaning tht the framework that the rush is done on pops out of the chair, it is re-rushed and put back and held in place with screws. The second originally done in genuine rush (you twist the rope itself by hand) from cattail leaves into a hand twited rope and rush the chair from start to finish. This art while done years ago, has been widely replaced by the use of Fiber Rush (a tightly twisted brown kraft paper) that forms a rope, from that it is woven onto the seat or drop-frame. Asa “Genuine Rush is costly and time consuming and is usually reserved for heirlooms and museum quality work in today’s world.”
The second picture shows a broken side piece that needs to be glued, and clamped and screwed back into place before the cane can be installed.
The two pictures on the left show an Oak Chair, which the pressed cane has totally worn out.
When the new cane has been installed, the cane will be stained to give it an aged appearance.
Next on the list for this week is the replacement of two rush seats. One having a genuine rush seat that has deteriorated and will be replaced with Fiber Rush. Hitchcock style chairs usually incur a dis-assembly/re-assembly charge, as you have to remove button covers in the rear of the chair, also prying out wood strips from around the chair and removing a front decorative piece that is screwed into place, this forms a decorative as well as protective frame work around the rushed interior of the seat. All of this takes time to do just to get to the seat itself before rushing can take place.
The second chair has what is known as a drop in seat, it has been rushed with fiber rush that has worn and broken on the front rail, this is the common place for most rush to weaken and brake, as it gets all the weight and pressure from the thighs rubbing along the front edge of the seat. The interior of this seat is removable, however in some ways it it makes it more difficult over the rushing taking place directly on the chair rails itself.
Note the back, side and front wood trim that needs to be removed and replaced in order to get to the seat to be woven.
In some cases there are wooden dowels or buttons in the rear behind the seat that need to be removed, that cover screws to release the wood frame on this type of chair.
This seat is not that way, most of those have heavier wide trim going around the seat.
The next chair is the Hitchcock style with the removable drop in seat, where the inner frame must be removed in order that the rushing can take place, while this seems to be a simple task, it is much easier to re-rush in the chair frame. Nails or small strips or blocks of wood need to be tacked into place where the top of the leg posts would be normally, this is to hold the new rush in place until the finished seat can be replaced into the chair.
Modern day manufacturer’s of Rush Style Chairs, that specialize in mass production often resort to the drop in seat, as the chair can be manufactured in one country, and the seat in another or in another totally separate area of the factory, the assembled in another.
Premium furniture manufacturer’s such as Suter’s Hadcrafted Furniture- Harrisonburg, Virginia and Chlore”s of Madison, Virginia still rush the chairs they make right in the chair and do not use drop in frames. I am sure there are many others, however this is still done mainly by manufacturer’s of Hand Crafted Furniture, not neccessarily mass produced.
Pictures of the finished chairs will be posted in a separate post, later this week.
Please Note: The layout of this article is not the way it is supposed to be. I have found that Word Press has a mind of its own. It shows you what you think you will get, publishes something entirely differnt. Please be patient until I can find out how to correct this.