I grew up in Vermont where I developed a life-long interest in natural history. After high school I spent several years working odd-jobs and traveling in Central and South America. In 2010 I enrolled at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington to study natural history and ornithology. At Evergreen I found my way to the wood shop where I explored arched instrument making and furniture making over several years. After years of going back and forth between field biology and woodwork I accepted a residency at the Arbutus Folk School in 2017, where I studied the techniques employed in Windsor chair making and adapted them to the tools and materials available to me. In 2019, I apprenticed with Curtis Buchanan, a Windsor chairmaker in Jonesborough, Tennessee, and accepted a residency at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. I live in Charlotte, Vermont where I make chairs and teach chair making classes. .
Two Slat Chair
A great introduction to the basics of chair making using air-dried wood.
In this six-day class, students will learn the fundamentals of Ladderback chairmaking.
Using a mix of hand and machine processes, you will make Eric’s two-slat side chair, with an emphasis on how these processes can be used to make a chair of your own design.
For most of the class, you will have a drawknife or a spokeshave in your hand, shaping the tapered octagonal legs, rungs, and slats of your chair. You will also learn how to use a drill press to bore rung mortises and a router to cut slat mortises.
While green woodworking principles will be central to the class, we will use dry pre-bent leg and slat blanks to facilitate the build. You will get hands-on practice with multiple steam bending demonstrations that cover a variety of ways to bend and dry material. You’ll also learn about light bulb kilns for drying wood and managing moisture content. In addition to moisture content, you will also gain a deeper understanding of grain orientation and how it impacts every joint.
At assembly, every joint will consist of a super-dried tenon and an air-dried mortise.
Resources on finishing and seat weaving will be provided for students to do at home.
Key Learning Points:
Material selection – log vs. board
Shaping with the drawknife and spokeshave
Kiln use -moisture content and joinery
Sharpening – drawknife, spokeshave, scraper, drill bit
This class is open to all skill levels and requires no previous experience. This a class where there’s a lot of physical labour