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At Country Workshops we are promoting the use of genuine rush. Natural, wild rush has been used for post-and-rung chair seats for over 4,000 years. In this country, twisted brown paper "rush" is the norm seen on all but the finest antiques. In England and Europe, genuine rush seating is still demanded. You will understand why when you see the real article, which has a special quality of color and texture.
Both cattails (Typha latifolia) and bulrush (Scirpus lacustris) can be used. These materials are strong and attractive, and they can be collected in late summer by almost anyone who lives near a pond or slow moving river.
The process begins with dampening the dry rush the night before work begins. The rush leaves are twisted into a continuous cord as the seat is woven into an intersecting, three layered pattern. Scrap bits of rush are used for the stuffing.
In this two day course you can expect to complete the bottom on an average sized chair seat. Each student is responsible for bringing their own chair frame to the course.
Tuition includes materials, lodging and meals. No special tools are required.
The instructor, Carl Swensson, is best known for his shoji screens and other traditional Japanese woodworking, but he also has a long-time involvement in making post-and-rung chairs.
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