Although very rare, willow seated chairs have been made using traditional basketmaking techniques and craftsmanship for hundreds of years. I’m now reviving original Arts & Crafts ladder back chairs, giving them a new lease of life and love within the 21st Century!
Both functional and beautiful, these chair feel perfectly at home in a traditional or more rustic modern setting.
Designed by leaders of the Arts & Crafts movement, these handcrafted, originally rush seated chairs, were made within the Cotswold furniture workshops of Ernest Gimson, the Barnsley brothers, Edward Gardiner and Gordon Russell. However it was Ernest Gimson who upon learning how to make ladder back chairs from Philip Clissett chose, I believe, to also learn and himself make woven willow seats. Gimson made these prized chairs for friends and family; with his iconic chair, made for Sidney Barnsley, now taking pride of place in the Cheltenham museum.
With a passion for the Arts & Crafts movement, and an understanding of the highly skilled traditional English techniques needed to create willow seating, it’s natural for me to follow in Gimson’s footsteps.
Combining each chair’s unique provenance with critically endangered willow basketmaking techniques is an incredible opportunity, not only for myself, but for the promotion and future of my craft. Using now rare natural white willow harvested from the Somerset Levels and willow seated by myself, my future aim is through demand for this natural material seating to help train other basketmakers in these highly skilled techniques and work towards creating for them a viable, sustainable living.
Whether the chair is a unique centre piece, pair or a dining room set, my hope is that together we will support the aims of the Arts & Crafts movement, so relevant to us today; to promote a return to hand-craftsmanship and to assert the creative independence of individual craftspeople.
When offered for sale, each Arts & Crafts chair is priced according to its providence, model and finely crafted willow seat. Please do contact me for prices, commission lead in time and further information.