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Barnsley Workshop Chair?

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Jimmy69

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Hi. I love this rocker by James Ryan for the Barnsley Workshop but at £28000 - yes - £28000! it's a bit out of my price range. I'd like to know what the carving effect is called so I can see if I can find some more affordable pieces or even make something in that style.
2018-01-01-Stock-02.jpeg
 

Inspector

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Sam Maloof, I believe, was the first to make rocking chairs along that line and there are a number of people offering plans etc on how to make them. There was an Aussie (Hal Taylor) among them that had plans and a CD of an upholstered version but he has passed away. I think there is someone else selling them now but I don't know who. Sam Maloof rocking chairs go for a lot more when they come up for sale.

Pete
 

mrpercysnodgrass

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I got to handle the Mk1version of this chair at the 'Masterpiece' exhibition. It is a fabulous chair both in design and construction, a lot more refined than the Sam Maloof chair. The carving on the MkIII is as Adam W says easy to do, it is a style of finishing on many tribal artefacts especially on the underside of headrests. Below is a reproduction headrest I made a few years back, I found a large gauge with a slightly twisting action worked best. I hope you will keep us updated if you decide to make one of these Barnsley rockers.
 

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Argus

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At the risk of veering this thread a little to the side, that decorative scalloping effect reminded me of an occasion, way back in my working life for a trade association when we had regular meetings with DTI/DOE (as it was then, later DEFRA) in London.

For some reason the usual office venue was unavailable and we were due to meet in Church House, Westminster which is that huge building, next door to the Abbey. The room was beautiful, overlooking the quadrangle and on that day, what took my notice was the table.

From memory, it was about 10-12 feet in length, about 4 feet wide and best described as ‘substantial-dark-Oak-Victorian-refectory-style’. I spent most of the meeting working out how this thing was made. Probably heavily influenced by the Arts and Crafts style……. From that period, anyway.

This was in the days before cameras in phones and I didn’t have a camera with me but two things stand out in my memory:

First, the top. It was made of joined dark Oak boards about 2 inches thick – from the colour, it had been either stained or fumed. The top of the table was dead flat and had been deliberately finished to give a ‘scalloped effect’ but the technique used was very regular and even strokes with a scrub plane, or similar with a slightly curved blade, cut diagonally in both directions at about 60 degrees angle. Each cut was evenly spaced, smoothed over and dead straight across the top. This striking (to me at least) ‘unfinished’ effect was obviously deliberate. It was not a random facted scalloping, but gave that effect.

Secondly, some of the legs had a small discrete carving of a standing bird positioned in the corner, rather like one of Robert Thompson’s mice. I cannot recall now what sort of bird, perhaps a stylise pelican or falcon…..

We only had that one meeting there but that table has remained in my memory. I tried to replicate the scalloped top effect once out of curiosity and believe me, getting that effect achieved by the unknown maker over such a large area was not easy. His blade must have been extremely keen because the tendency with Oak cut at a diagonal is that the grain- side under compression slices and the other splits. I suspect that it may have been done with a tool rather like a convex float, rather than a plane-and blade. That's my theory.

As for the carved birds? I don't know. Any ideas whose trade-mark that was?
 

recipio

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Wow. What a challenge to undertake. Sometimes decoration is a 'bridge too far'. I would leave it out and admire the smooth lines of the chair.
 

marcros

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The effect may have been done with an adze rather than a plane (on the table). I know that Robert Thompsons current workshop do it that way, but size of workpiece is probably relevent to the method.
 

keithy1959

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The effect may have been done with an adze rather than a plane (on the table). I know that Robert Thompsons current workshop do it that way, but size of workpiece is probably relevent to the method.
Almost certainly an adze . They would stand akimbo on the board and swing the adze down between their feet. I would imagine that the wood had to be quite green to get that consistent look. Saw some interesting stuff in an arts and craft museum - cant remember now if it was Chipping Candem or Broadway.
 

yetloh

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I have sat in at least one of these Barnsley rockers, as indeed can anyone who takes the trouble to visit the Barnsley workshop near Petersfield in Hampshire, an experience I can thoroughtly reommennd. Barnsley is a charitable educational trust and, as part of their educational remit they welcome visitors who are made very welcome. Quite apart from seeing their furniture, there is the opportunity to talk to the crafsmen and apprentices and see the workshop. If you are in the area, make the time to visit, you will thoroughly enjoy it although, in these Covid ridden times, it would be wise to check on the arrangemnets required first.

Jim
 

Woodmatt

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Sam Maloof, I believe, was the first to make rocking chairs along that line and there are a number of people offering plans etc on how to make them. There was an Aussie (Hal Taylor) among them that had plans and a CD of an upholstered version but he has passed away. I think there is someone else selling them now but I don't know who. Sam Maloof rocking chairs go for a lot more when they come up for sale.

Pete
Pete,just a small correction,Hal Taylor is alive and well in Virginia USA. He messaged me just a couple of days ago.He is still providing Plans ect for his take on the Maloof rocker

 

johnnyb

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that shaping of the joints from square to rounded to me is very reminiscent of chinese chairs. just saying.
I find these maloof style chairs slightly ungainly tbh. just a taste( or lack thereof) thing. the rasping to shape must be tiresome.
 

Inspector

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Pete,just a small correction,Hal Taylor is alive and well in Virginia USA. He messaged me just a couple of days ago.He is still providing Plans ect for his take on the Maloof rocker


Good to know but the gent I was thinking of had the rockers with upholstered seats. Probably a different person. He hasn't posted in years on the Aussie forum and the pictures from his posts are gone except for the little one he used for his avatar.
Rph1a.jpg


Pete
 

hennebury

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These chairs are pretty easy to make. Probably why Sam Maloof started making them. I made a few of them decades ago, and they got pretty boring pretty quick. No mine weren't anywhere near as pretty as as Sam's, Hal Taylors of the Barnsley workshop ones. I probably could have made them a little prettier if i could have got £28,000 or even $2,800
Furniture is not difficult to make. Anyone with some basic skills and a box of 4" screws can make one of those chairs, but unless you are famous and connected to an exclusive clientele, you would be lucky to get $1000 dollars for a chair.

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rocker oak.JPG
 

scholar

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At the risk of veering this thread a little to the side, that decorative scalloping effect reminded me of an occasion, way back in my working life for a trade association when we had regular meetings with DTI/DOE (as it was then, later DEFRA) in London.

For some reason the usual office venue was unavailable and we were due to meet in Church House, Westminster which is that huge building, next door to the Abbey. The room was beautiful, overlooking the quadrangle and on that day, what took my notice was the table.

From memory, it was about 10-12 feet in length, about 4 feet wide and best described as ‘substantial-dark-Oak-Victorian-refectory-style’. I spent most of the meeting working out how this thing was made. Probably heavily influenced by the Arts and Crafts style……. From that period, anyway.

This was in the days before cameras in phones and I didn’t have a camera with me but two things stand out in my memory:

First, the top. It was made of joined dark Oak boards about 2 inches thick – from the colour, it had been either stained or fumed. The top of the table was dead flat and had been deliberately finished to give a ‘scalloped effect’ but the technique used was very regular and even strokes with a scrub plane, or similar with a slightly curved blade, cut diagonally in both directions at about 60 degrees angle. Each cut was evenly spaced, smoothed over and dead straight across the top. This striking (to me at least) ‘unfinished’ effect was obviously deliberate. It was not a random facted scalloping, but gave that effect.

Secondly, some of the legs had a small discrete carving of a standing bird positioned in the corner, rather like one of Robert Thompson’s mice. I cannot recall now what sort of bird, perhaps a stylise pelican or falcon…..

We only had that one meeting there but that table has remained in my memory. I tried to replicate the scalloped top effect once out of curiosity and believe me, getting that effect achieved by the unknown maker over such a large area was not easy. His blade must have been extremely keen because the tendency with Oak cut at a diagonal is that the grain- side under compression slices and the other splits. I suspect that it may have been done with a tool rather like a convex float, rather than a plane-and blade. That's my theory.

As for the carved birds? I don't know. Any ideas whose trade-mark that was?

This reminds me - I took the children to the Tower of London many years ago - apart from losing one of them, the most interesting thing for me was the finish on the handrails on the stairs and associated work - that was a scalloped effect, I think at a regular angle and I guess the rails were oak in fairly substantial sections - it was very pleasing to look at and to the touch - I had assumed it was done with a scrub plane.

Cheers
 
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