My first chairs, in 1990, mark my transition from cabinetmaking and finish carpentry to establishing an independent furniture shop. My favorite chair at the time was George Nakashima’s walnut Conoid, which relies exclusively on joinery for support of a cantilevered seat. My joinery was not up to the task, so I incorporated a cross brace, a feature I saw regularly beneath a local railroad bridge. Eponymously, I still use that structure in my Rocker X. In my experience, joinery is stronger and more repairable than screws and hardware, especially in chairs, so my chairs include no metal.
My Zoser Stool (paying homage to Zoser and Imhotep of ancient Egyptian fame) is a pair of Z-shape cantilevered frames joined with large splines that I first noticed in the construction of splined boat knees (which can also be bent laminations). Boat building techniques are often informative for my furniture designs, considering that wooden boats have been built since before Zoser’s time and that a sailor’s life depends on sound construction.
My straight chairs, rockers, and stools have developed concurrently throughout the past 25 years, and with each small batch, the designs continue to evolve.