Rustic Windsor Chair Class
Rustic Windsor Chairmaking

December 1 - 6

with Drew Langsner

Nobody knows when the first Windsor-style chairs were made, but it’s certain that chairs utilizing legs and backrest spindles fitted to a solid plank seat have been crafted for centuries. In rural Wales, Ireland and the west counties of England, folk art Windsors were produced throughout the 1800’s that often have a sculptural presence and personal character that is very refreshing – especially when compared to more formal, professionally produced Windsors. Historically, these vernacular Windsors were generally made by part-time chairmakers who were also farmers, or perhaps boat builders or wagon makers.

The rustic Windsors made in this tutorial are related to the Welsh Stick Windsor project in The Chairmaker’s Workshop. The chair utilizes a large, comfortable seat and a 4-element sculpted arm-bow. The legs are octagonal in cross-section, with a wide foot that converges into cylindrical tapered tenons fitted to matching mortises in the solid plank seat.

Beginning Windsor chair students will make a low-back Windsor – also known as a captain’s chair or a smoking chair. More experienced Windsor students have an option to make the more complex and time consuming high-back version, which is sometimes called a comb-back Windsor.

For this course we utilize fresh oak rivings (carefully split-out stock) for the spindles and air-dried sawn stock for the composite arm-bow, legs and seat. The tenon ends of the legs, which are turned on a lathe, will be kiln dried at the time of assembly. The course includes a detailed lecture/demonstration that solves the mystery of the compound angles for the legs and spindles found on all Windsor chairs.

Making the rustic Windsor also serves as an excellent introduction to the more formal Windsor styles.

The tuition for the 5-day summer tutorial is $1275; tuition for the 6-day fall tutorial is $1500. Tuition for each course includes project materials, your private room, and meals. Specialty chairmaking tools are also provided.

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