“Writer’s Seat”
 
old oak
“Throne for the Languorous Among Us”
 
old oak, elm
“Throne Concerning Fatherhood”
 
old oak, denuded steel wire

 

“Throne Concerning Fatherhood”
 
This is one of the heaviest objects I have made, and one of the quietest (no figures, no arms, no paint). The idea was to create a structure that wasn’t ostensibly a seat, and to link specific old oak timbers so that the weight and might of them as well as the means of connection would be very evident. I wanted it to be curious, accessible from all sides (no arms allows this), and as simple as stability would allow. I also wanted to leave the back upright as long as possible so that the questions “Is it necessary?”, “Could it be comfortable?”, and “Is it phallic?” might take shape. If it is phallic, not to worry. The front rail with nails in has been with me waiting for this piece to appear in for over five years.
 
Paul Anderson, 1996
 

 

First sketch for
“Throne with Wire Arch”
Framework for
“Chair with Red Circle”
Concept Design for baulky seating using dock timbers
“Story-Telling Seat”
 
for Sidmouth International Festival
 
old oak, elm, denuded steel wire
“Chair with Curly Arms”,
 
for Andrew Lawson
 
old oak, elm

 

“Chair with Curly Arms”
 
This is the first chair with curly arms I have made. They are elm because elm doesn’t split as easily as oak can. The oak bits came from my collection of old gate posts and bits of fence, except for the back uprights which came from a demolished barn. I love their softness outside / hardness inside: feel the tops which have been sawn off unceremoniously giving you the onlooker the chance to remind yourself how iron-like oak can be. Partly what I like about this chair is the way it opens out for you. Another thing is the thinness of the arms, delicate and almost ridiculously expressive compared to the bulkiness of the frame. One of the funny or rather excellent things that happened when this piece was being glued and pegged together was that the front of it veered off fairly undeniably to the right (left as you look at it). Nice twist.
 

 

“Naked Chair”
 
old oak

 

“Naked Chair”
 
There were severe constraints once I had decided that the back was to consist of only this cleft oak post. Excellent. In fact all the members used had natural twists or turns in them, and it was these that governed what joints were possible and where; hence also to a large extent the seat’s proportions and design, which I enjoy happening. The front rail was left long because I wanted to include a strong horizontal line, and because it possesses lovely edges and surfaces throughout. The pieces of oak branch used for front legs seemed to work well next to it, and needed to be braced against a tendency to splay out when pressed down on, so I introduced a little bit of crooked oak on each side.
I had intended to include denuded wire arms linking the front rail to the back upright, but where to insert them I couldn’t decide and anyway grew to like the openness of it all (lack of further lines, access from both sides as well as front) and its simplicity – adorned enough with just a few pegs protruding slightly.
 

 

Concept Design for
“Big Bird” Throne,
 
for the Eden Project
“Throne with Truncated Arms”
 
old oak, elm, denuded steel wire, paint
“Throne with Blue Crowns”
 
old oak, denuded steel wire, paint
“Divining Chair”
 
old oak
 

 
“Divining Chair”
 
The two back uprights are what gave this Chair its basic shape, for they roughly mirror each other’s bentness, both backwards and outwards, and together presented me with an opportunity to make something with a gracefully curved back. All the parts are old oak (from defunct gates and fences) except for the zig-zag bit and the forked pieces which are elm; the latter I made white because they kept reminding me of bones, sun-bleached, such as an ancient tribe might have regarded as sacred for some reason. Or we might have. They could be symbolic of wishbones (good fortune, magic), or tuning forks (consistency, harmony), or divining rods (sensors, survival, water), or maybe nothing.
I am especially fond of these forked bones because the idea for them came to me out of the blue after hours of pattern-doodling which produced only corny possibilities. It is the best feeling when that happens. They are not glued into position but just stuffed into their mortices. This Chair feels to me like it could have been used by the king or queen of a lost civilisation, the bones inspiring wisdom and insight.
 

 

“Light Throne”
 
old oak, water-stained oak, denuded steel wire
“Throne for the Errant Warrior”
 
old oak
“Diva’s Throne”,
 
for Andrew Lawson
 
old oak, elm