Issue 14 T.O.C. – “Block Chairs: An Examination of Two 19th-century Scandinavian Kubbestol”

This post is part of a blog series revealing the table of contents of upcoming Issue Fourteen. As is our custom, we’ll be discussing one article per weekday in order to give you a taste of what is to come. 

The subscription window that includes Issue Fourteen is open now.

To get Issue Fourteen when it ships in early April, you can sign up for a subscription here. 

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Most historic chair forms required a number of pieces to be shaped, joinery carefully cut, then everything brought together during glue-up to form the envisioned whole. Another tradition, however, began with a massive stump, from which the craftsman removed every part not necessary for the completed chair – in essence, the chair was always there, waiting to be revealed. 

The Scandinavian kubbestol is a form that dates to ancient days – images of these chairs have been found from the 9th century. They were hollowed (often before drying, as the removal of the pith mitigated checking) and later carved and painted for decorative whimsy. 

In Issue Fourteen, we will examine two examples of beautifully crafted kubbestol. From the carved, sinewy armrests to the textured outer surfaces to the light-hearted decorative rosemaling (rose-painting), these chairs are thoroughly unique and not often seen outside their traditional geographical origins. But as always, we will look closely and investigate every detail.

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