The 2016 Powys Eisteddfod was held in Oswestry. The Chair - which is awarded to the winning poet of the Eisteddfod competition - was sponsored by Lloyds Agricultural Feeds.
Having previously made 3 Bardic Chairs (see my other blog entries) I wanted to incorporate steam bending again. It follows the style of the other chairs I had designed and made but with a much more traditional feel this time. Oswestry is steeped in history and I wanted to echo that in this design without losing the modern touch that is my design aesthetic. By adding an unexpected Walnut panel to the obvious choice of oak elevates the design.
The seat of the chair is carved for comfort giving the undulation you can see in the base. This acts to then soften the front on visual aesthetic as it removes the hard edge.
Joinery on the steam bend components, such as the half lap of the arm rest, was a challenge to achieve - you are essentially trying to join curved pieces to straight pieces and wood which is impossible to achieve with machinery so requires endless hours of chiselling, adapting and fitting to get the perfect end result. The effort is worth it for the strength, comfort and longevity of the piece.
If you look closely to where the seat joins the front leg (forth image) you will see the complexity of joinery I used in this chair. There are five pieces of wood coming together: the seat, two steam bent components of the seat which gives the curved back, the front leg, and the stretcher on underside of seat which adds strength and depth. Each is from a different plane and if nothing else, looks cool!