I have been dreaming about making this chair since February of this year, and I finally had the chance to make one when April and I visited Greg again in Tennessee a couple weeks ago. I had the pleasure of sitting in one at Kelly Mehler’s (after making a bowback chair), and those arms… I just loved them. I had to make one. So, here are a few shots of my newly finished continuous arm Windsor chair, which is now receiving a lot of love in our new living quarters. It’s a comfy one.
The Continuous Arm Windsor Chair
Apparently, the continuous arm Windsor chair is a true American design, developed in New York in the 18th century. But the real reason I was drawn to this chair is the super slick appearance. I mean, look at that arm. I love the flow, and how lightweight and trim the appearance is, but at the same time, it’s a very strong and durable chair. It’s really comfortable, too, whether it’s at a table, for reading, etc.
I opted for the “pumpkin” color from the Old-Fashioned Milk Paint Co., and interestingly, I almost totally regretted it and painted over it. Until it was oiled, it was a much more pastel color, not as vivid, and quite frankly, it looked more like a white person’s rear end. Not that great. But a coat of shellac brought out its shine, and everything changed instantly. I really love the orange color now.
I’m still not sure if I could make my own chair from the legs up without Greg’s awesome guidance, but I feel a lot more practiced now, at least. Carving the seat is still my favorite part, other than seeing it come together, and wiping down the finish oil coat. Carving the spindles didn’t seem nearly as annoying, and turning the legs was excellent practice, too. I like these more reserved “bamboo” style turnings.
I feel certain I will want to make another chair (or two, or three) in the future, but time will tell what the next one will be. For now, I am very much enjoying this continuous arm Windsor. One day, I fully expect to have a big farmhouse table surrounded in our collection of handmade chairs.