Chinese Stools as Art


I received the note below following our weekend class on making a three-legged stool – and with the sender’s permission, I’ve posted it (and two of his photos). It’s too cool to not pass along.

— Megan Fitzpatrick

I read your blog posts and was reminded of the Ai Weiwei sculpture I saw in May at the “Against the Grain” exhibit when I visited the Museum of Art and Design in New York City.  If Bob Lang really wants to up the level of complex joinery in the 3-legged stool, he might take a look at what Ai Weiwei did with original Qing dynasty stools (some of which are 3-legged, and some 4-legged) — taking it to this level would have easily filled up the remaining half-day of his workshop!  When I saw this sculpture, I was reminded of the 2009 article you referenced in your blog post — I was also shocked at the use of antique stools in the sculpture’s construction, and amazed at the facility with which the artist (or his assistants?) joined these stools into one unit. I’ve attached photos I took at the exhibit. (Anyone interested in woodworking who finds themselves in NYC should see the show before it closes on September 15— see

— John F. Fink


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