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Scorched Oak Rocking Chair

Scorched Oak Rocking Chair

Bespoke Furniture Highly Commended 2014

Furniture designer/maker: Barnsley Workshop
Wood Supplier: Tyler Hardwoods

The designer set out to design a really comfortable wooden backed rocking chair that would also appear visually inviting and provide further tactile interest. It is based on a dining chair design that the designer had developed over a number of years. This particular dining chair has a really comfortable and form fitting back shape. The designer had to scale up the sizes to achieve the generous and roomy proportions he wanted for this rocking chair.

The designer also wanted all the joints to appear to seamlessly grow out of the other components. Using timber allowed him to fine tune the constantly changing cross section. There are parts of the chair that are circular in cross section that then morph into an oval shape. This is whilst also tapering and curving in profile. The designer wanted to use oak for this project as he had intended to blacken and wire brush the finished chair from the out set. Oak with its open grain is ideal for this finishing process.

The designer sourced the oak from his usual supplier Tyler Hardwoods. It was very important for consistency of grain and character that the oak used should all be from the same tree. Therefore he used consecutive boards from one boule.

Careful timber selection is a very important part of our furniture making process and the team made up templates for all the shaped components. They then used these templates to mark out the optimum grain direction for strength and appearance on the boards.

Some components were cut out as solid blanks to be shaped. Others were cut out as thin lamina for the components that would be formed using the laminating formers we had made. The laminates were cut and kept in the same order as they came in the blanks. This ensures that the laminating process should not be too visually evident in the finished component.

The ability to scorch the timber was a key part of the design. The designer knew that the oak left in its natural colour would give subtle variations in grain and colour where individual components joined. By scorching the oak the designer could achieve a homogenous colour and unify all of the components into a sculpted whole.