I have just returned from a road trip to Michigan with my friend Bill Anderson. The trip had a dual focus: deliver 40 chairs and learn to make a barrel. This by far the largest chair order I've ever gotten. What fun! I'd take another job like this tomorrow -...
by Elia Bizzarri | Mar 30, 2022 | Chair Stories | 4 Comments
This is a story for John and his family. It's also for Scott, who's Comb Back Arm Chair and Windsor Table were delivered last month. I wrote the story in the middle of January, when it happened: John Braxton died a couple weeks ago. A Quaker gunsmith, he machined...
Growing a Loop Back Arm Chair
by Elia Bizzarri | Feb 25, 2022 | Chair Stories, Classes | 5 Comments
As most of you know, I'm at Curtis Buchanan's designing a Loop Back Arm chair. On the second day we had a visitor from NC, Reid Gamble who has been apprenticing with laddarback chairmaker Lyle Wheeler. First we bored for the bent stretcher. Curtis had to climb...
Curtis, Eric and I
by Elia Bizzarri | Feb 23, 2022 | Chair Stories, Classes | 3 Comments
I am spending the next few days visiting with Curtis and Marilyn Buchanan. Eric Cannizzaro is here too. During the day we're working an a new loop back arm chair design for which Curtis hopes to publish a set of plans. At night, we are eating Marilyn's good food and...
A Cold Sunday Night
by Elia Bizzarri | Dec 27, 2021 | Chair Stories, Classes | 2 Comments
Yesterday, my father-in-law and I delivered a set of five chairs for Josh and his wife's new house. We met at a horse park and transferred the blanket-wrapped chairs into Josh's car. As I wrapped the chairs last week, I remembered this story: It was a...
by Elia Bizzarri | Oct 31, 2021 | Chair Stories | 3 Comments
I still remember the excitement I felt. I was 16 years old, returning home from a week’s camping trip. My mother's first words were, “Roy Underhill called!” We couldn’t believe it. Weeks before, my mother had found his number on the internet and left a message seeking...
Chair Stories: A Tree Crew
by Elia Bizzarri | Sep 2, 2021 | Chair Stories | 0 Comments
This afternoon Edward picked up a set of four custom walnut and oak swivel bar stools that his wife Phyllis had helped design. Here’s a story about their chairs: Note: Nobody was hurt in this story. Other than a plastic compost bin. “I recommend this tree crew to all...
Chair Stories: My Friend, The Bluesman
by Elia Bizzarri | Jul 18, 2021 | Chair Stories | 2 Comments
The phone rings. I put down my red chair-order book, lean forward in my chair, lift the receiver. “John Dee died last night.” What do you say when a 92 year old man dies? I mumble that I am sorry. But what am I sorry about? We hang up and I go...
A Day in Curtis’s Shop
by Elia Bizzarri | Jun 13, 2021 | Chair Stories | 2 Comments
I spent two days with Curtis Buchanan, Marilyn and Summer last week, visiting and hanging out in the shop. This was my first trip playing with my new fancy-pants camera - here's some photos I took. ...
The Drawknife I Love
by Elia Bizzarri | Apr 30, 2021 | Chair Stories | 1 Comment
Troy and his wife picked up a set of four loop backs and one continuous arm last week. Troy took a class from me a couple years ago - my chairs will join his chair to form a complete set of six. His a story of his chairs: Drawknives are the tool I’d collect if I ever...
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