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Brian Boggs is on a lot of people’s short list for best chairmaker in the country. Boggs lived and worked for more than two decades in Berea, Kentucky, and his chair shop there helped make the small town of Berea one of the most interesting places a woodworker could visit. Brian has always been teeming with ideas for improving his company as well as his furniture, and when he moved to Asheville, NC several years ago, you had to wonder what his next shop would look like.
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The results are in–his new place is a chair shop where he is producing many of his classic chairs and busily designing new ones, but it is also a co-operative venture with a handful of other craftsmen who share space and overhead and ideas. And it is a school, as well, with several apprentices learning from the various members of the team. The new company is called the Boggs Collective, and Brian sent us a video yesterday that gives a tour of the work being done there.
Here is his email in part:
“We just got chosen as one of Asheville’s best businesses by The Destination Guide. Now if we get enough views on the video they shot we can win 25 TV spots on the Travel Channel. So help us by watching this in its entirety and sharing it on FaceBook. Only entire viewings help us out. Check it out and let us know what you think. Thanks!”
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I met Brian Boggs 6 years ago when he kindly gave me a tour of his shop in Berea and even allowed me to steam bend one of his experimental chairs. Brian is innovative, creative, a kind and generous person and a master chairmaker. It's great to see him branching out. And to any doubters out there, once you've sat in one of his chairs, you will understand how comfortable and beautiful a chair can be. Everything else you've ever sat is in a bench.
Nice work. Let's face it, however. This is an advertisement for his business. Pure and simple.
Chairs were the thing that drew me to setting up a little woodshop and I can sure see why again. Like Sailer 2 said " I wish I could ,I wish I could". These chairs of Boggs' have to be an embodment of gifted thinking that unfolds thru a special way of seeing. Absolutely connected thinking in line with the creative process of the universe is the only way something like this gets done. Would we like to see a chair made by Boggs and Maloof in joint harmony or would we?
What's not to love about these chairs? I wish I could...I wish I could!
If I may say something about the hacked up video. I can't imagine why anyone would consider this anything but an annoying distraction from the subject. A serious downgrade from a steady handed videographer who I'm sure is not happy that someone has hacked up his work. Sorry about this but I had to let it be known.
Beautiful 'sun chair'.
A word of warning about chair back profiles though; many years ago Russell Malloy established through a set of tests (done for a chair project at Parker Knoll) on a sizeable group of testees that there are a couple of noticeably different back shapes needed. There are those of us needing the curved-in lumbar support shown on Brian's chair and there are others needing a much flatter profile. Russell's solution for a production environment was an add-on lumbar support but I can't see that working for this chair. Two subtly different models would probably be fine for a small production design though.
Sadly I can't find any online references to the tests, though as the project was done in the late 70's it was well before anyone would have thought about that. In fact I can't find Russell at all, though since he was well into middle-age when tutoring me at the RCA in '82 I suppose he might have died by now.
The workmanship and creativity are an inspiration! Brian is definitely a class act! Has Brian written any books that demonstrate his construction techniques?
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In this video Michael finishes the first of the three boxes. Gluing-up, planing, sanding and finishing bring a new piece of art to the world.
In this video Michael starts work on the second box, a carved and painted Saddle lid box.
Michael begins carving the saddle lid box with his ripple pattern along the top. Then turns to his 5/30 gouge to texture the sides of the box. This isn't work…
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