David Haig: Bending Timber
Born in Malaysia and raised in England (where he got a degree in history at Oxford), David Haig moved to New Zealand in his early 20s after his parents emigrated there. He and his wife, Clare, bought a small house with a view of an estuary not far from the city of Nelson. Although early on Haig considered throwing pots or keeping bees, he soon found his way into carpentry and then furniture making. With six months experience working under a furniture restorer, Haig opened his own shop restoring furniture and gradually began making pieces of his own design.
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The rocker he designed in 1989 changed his career, bringing him acclaim and customers from around the world–he’s sent rockers to 16 countries–and over the last 20 years he’s made nearly 200 of them. In addition to his rockers, Haig builds a range of other furniture, pieces that typically include curving elements produced with steam-bending or kerf-bending.
Haig teaches regularly at the Centre for Fine Woodworking in Nelson, New Zealand, and also at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Camden, Maine. A well-produced video explaining how Haig builds his rocker is available through his Web site.