The Why of Windsor Chairs
A veteran maker explains the roots, the rationale, and the powerful appeal of America’s classic chair
Synopsis: Four centuries after they first emerged, in England, Windsors chairs and their offspring account for about half the wooden chairs on the planet. The original chair has spawned a multitude of different varieties and designs. What makes the Windsor so iconic? Pre-eminent Windsor chair maker Curtis Buchanan takes a look at the chair’s history, its structure, and its materials, then takes us through a gallery of different Windsor designs. Also included: a glimpse into what it’s like to work in Buchanan’s Jonesborough, Tenn., shop from day to day.
Windsor chairs are enduring. Three centuries after they first emerged, in England, Windsors and their offspring account for about half the wooden chairs on the planet. Post-and-rung chairs and their descendants account for the other half. The Windsor got its robust DNA from the 17th-century Welsh stick chair. With a thick seat made of elm, and legs, stretchers,…