I just got back from a three week trip, equal parts vacation, research trip and photography experiment. Last winter I signed a book contract about early 19th. Century chairmaking with Lost Art Press. This trip was the first step on the book – I spent a week at Old Sturbridge Village photographing the Samuel Wing collection of tools and chair parts, Independence Hall in Philadelphia to measure a chair in their collection possibly made by Wing, and finally Meadowcroft Museum in far western PA to photograph a fascinating mid-19th C. collection of chairs, tools and un-assembled chair parts. Meadowcroft also happens to be the site of a rock overhang that has been sheltering humans for 19,000 years, the oldest known evidence of humans in North and South America, period. Amazing!
My goal for the book is to build two-dozen copies of the Indy Hall Loop Back chair using the tools and techniques with which it was built, all in the same two weeks that it took a period craftsmen to make two dozen simple side chairs. Since many people worked over 70 hours a week at the time, and I don’t want to, I may smear the work over more days, but work fewer hours a day. Can I work that fast? Stay tuned!