In high school and college I would race to make gifts during this season. Late nights spent in my grandfather or neighbor’s wood shop, hustling to complete the gifts by Christmas. This season brought on that same feeling again with a run of 13 cherry wooden carriers. As always, I underestimated the amount of time it takes to do a quality job. Half were done for Christmas day (complimented by the faint smell of linseed oil) and the other half became New Year’s presents to unexpectant friends.
They may be late for Christmas 2020, but this is the first gift of 2021. There’s usually a silver lining in each miss.
The loose end was the greenwood lounge chair. It’s of red oak with a stained hickory bark seat. Sits lower and a bit wider than my recent chairs. I built this over the summer and hung the frame on the shop wall. At that time I thought it needed a red seat but didn’t see a good option for it. A red Shaker tape weave didn’t seem right. Possibly red cord though I didn’t seek out source. That idea didn’t feel right either though.
This past week I decided to take it down and complete it. The bark seat comes from the all the outer bark from this past spring’s hickory harvest. It has significant striations and is a little thick, which makes for a challenge in getting a tight weave. It’s the perfect surface to experiment with staining. This has a walnut oil stain on the bark that went on evenly and compliments to garnet shellac on the red oak frame. The combination warms both the wood and the bark, something that is lacking from an earlier chairs with the same materials that only received oil during the finish process.
Baskets and a chair, finished by year end 2020. The year brought plenty of challenges but also time with family, time in the shop and the start of a writing project. 2020 was challenging, frustrating, and stressful yet there is much for which to be grateful. Excited for the possibilities of ’21.
Thanks for reading, sharing and following along. Wishing you a joyful new year.