Over the duration of this course, you will be taught the basic traditional techniques to make a charming, strong and comfortable Windsor side chair, made of oak and ash.
The emphasis of the week is to experience and master particular chairmaking hand tools, such as the travisher, drawknife and carving adze. You will make all the components of the chair: legs, spindles, etc., from scratch. The crests and stretchers will be steam bent and you will carve a seat from a seasoned board of ash. Then we will drill, assemble and finish the chair. The chair is designed and taught by chair maker, Jason Mosseri of Hopesprings Chairs, and is unique to this course at West Dean College.
As an alternative to using a lathe to fashion parts, you will be exploring the use of hand planes to make attractive, octagonal legs and posts, as in the Welsh tradition. All joints will be wedged tenons or pinned tenons.
There will be plenty of opportunity to discuss the rich heritage of the Windsor chair, a style that originated in Britain and became popular worldwide during the 18th and 19th century. You will be given detailed information on how to apply various finishes to your chair at home.
Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above
Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.
6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).
8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.
Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.
From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).
Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.
Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.
Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.
(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)
Jason makes contemporary, stylish Windsor chairs. He was taught by chair maker Paul Hayden. As part of his business, Jason teaches chair making 'without electricity' in a Sussex woodland. He exhibits his chairs at design and craft fairs, including the West Dean Arts and Craft Festival. His work is often published in magazines.
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Our Foundation Degree specialising in Furniture is designed to give you well-rounded woodworking theory and craft skills to become a self-employed maker or craftsperson, to continue your studies in higher education or to find employment in the creative industry sector. Find out more