Monday, March 14, 2016
We bought this chair nearly 4 years ago and it's too ugly in its current state to live on the main floor, so it's just been cluttering up our basement. Given how cool the carving is, that's a tragedy.
Looking back, we were way too enamored with the carvings and we spent too much money for the condition it was in. Oh well, lessons learned.
I'm quite sure this poor chair has been the victim of a bad remodel. When you take off the seat cushion you find this.
I did a lot of searching around on the internet and I found very little that provided clues as to how to fix this chair. Often websites that talked about making Morris chairs spent all their time showing you how to make the frames and then skipped right to the end and showed you the chair all stained and put together with cushions covering up whatever structure they added to hold the cushion.
So, I finally turned to my personal library. Like the websites I found, most books didn't bother to discuss how to provide a framework for installing cushions, but I did finally find two books that helped me decide how we should finish this chair.
The Popular Woodworking's Arts & Crafts Furniture Projects book provided a good solution for how to finish a platform to set a cushion on. So, Jeff is going to make me a frame to put jute webbing on and it should sit on top of the braces in the corners. We'll also move those extra boards down until they are flush, for added strength.
This was my plan until I found this entry specifically talking about Morris chairs in the Traditional Techniques chapter of my Upholstery: A Complete Course by David James.
"Upholstery Chairs of this type were simply upholstered with loose sprung cushions resting on cane-work or wood laths in the ladder back style."
How to make your own interior sprung cushion | Part 1
How to make your own interior sprung cushion | Part 2
I love this traditional method of making a cushion, so I'm going to go ahead and do it this way. The chair will be a lot more comfortable. I've found an online supplier that carries the spring units in the United States, so I'm going to go ahead and order one along with the cotton batting. I should be able to pick up anything else I need locally.
As for the back rest, I think I'll still use some foam, but if I have cotton batting leftover, I'll wrap it in that.