Issue Seven T.O.C. - Investigating Welsh Vernacular Woodwork

This is part of a blog series which reveals the table of contents of upcoming Issue Seven. As always, we’ll be discussing one article per weekday in order to give you a taste of what is come.

Please note that the subscription window which includes Issue Seven is open now until Sep 24th.


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Investigating Welsh Vernacular Woodwork
Kieran Binnie


The general design of the Welsh Stick Chair may date as far back as the 10th century. This classic, jaunty form emerged organically from the thrifty use of the weather-beaten and bent materials commonly available in the hedgerows and orchards of Wales centuries ago, and today it remains a popular design. Join author and furniture maker Kieran Binnie as he explores the ins and outs of these chairs, and the design details that make them so special. “The most striking of those elements,” he notes, “and the one that had me hooked on early Welsh stick chairs, is the use of naturally curved timber for the arms.” Rather than steam-bending or laminating these curves, a woodworker typically sought these shapes occurring naturally in the environment, often employing rootstocks or timber from storm-bent trees to good effect.

Binnie explores the unique Welsh cultural components that emerge not only in stick chairs, but in other handcrafts as well. The use of bent timber, forked branches, intentionally-grown curves, and the knowledge needed to use such shapes efficiently and effectively form the heart of vernacular Welsh woodwork.

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