“(Chairs) are too hard. Chairmakers are doomed to poverty.”
— Gary Bennett (1934 – ) furniture maker and artist
If I were a full-time chairmaker, I don’t think I’d be doomed to poverty.
Instead, I’d be doomed to starvation – or taking a job as an assistant baby chicken sexer.
But I do like me the chairmaking. It’s so different than building other types of furniture. It is in some ways easier – the angles are pretty simple once someone explains it to you. But it is in a lot ways more difficult. You have got to understand your material in a way that is even more intimate than that of a typical hand-tool woodworker.
For example: saddling a seat, which is when you remove material to make the seat more comfortable for the human hinder. Even with mild, straight-grained wood, you are going to fight the grain with every cut. You have to plan every cut and get used to reading the grain of every single seat.