'a' Back Windsor (Dining Chair) by Stoel Burrowes
2011 - 2012, Golden A' Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design Award Winner
Traditional Windsor, Fine Woodworking and Contemorary Design
Solid hardwood, traditional joinery and contemporary machinery update the fine Windsor Chair. The front legs pass through the seat to become the king post and the back legs reach to the crest. With triangulation this design realigns the forces of compression and tension to maximum visual complexity with physical strength and comfort. Milk paint or clear oil finish with wax maintain the sustainable tradition of Windsor Chairs.
Design Challenges
Designed as a Dining Chair, the ‘up-right’ ergonomics is nearly puritanical. However, the space created in and behind can justify the wide stance. The technology and economy of the Windsor Chairs and the Shaker Chairs inform this design most profoundly. A care and respect for craft and materials, along with the integration of seat to structure, reflect both historically and futuristically. Windsor chairs are often named by their ‘back’ style (‘Fan Back’, ‘Continuous Arm’, ‘Bird Cage’). Thus, this chair is named for the form created by the legs and spindles, especially as seen from the back.
Production Technology
The Crest is steam bent Ash. The Spindles (Ash) and Legs (White Oak) are a combination of lathe turning and spoke shaved with special attention to straight grain for strength. The Seat is Poplar and cut using CNC technology with hand sanding. The Front Leg passes through a 1" compound angled hole/through mortice in the Seat. The Front Legs provide a 'ledge' on which the Seat rests. All joints are well fit and glued with wedges where the Back Spindles pass through the Seat. Fine sanding and Milk Paint or Oil Finish with Wax complete this redesign of a traditional Windsor Chair.
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