Welsh stick chairs are an early or more primative type of solid wooden seat chair, later this evolved into the form referred to as a Windsor chair around the world but in Wales they’re called stick chairs. A stick chair often has carved rather than turned legs and a simplicity that relies on angles and proportion for its beauty. No two of my Welsh stick chairs are exactly the same, even with the same basic design there will be differences in the arm or crest and certainly in the grain and colour of the wood.
I make chairs to commission and we discuss the design and types of wood and final colour of the chair. Here’s a recent commission for a ‘John Brown’ style Cardigan armchair in elm and oak. I carefully sourced oak with a honey brown tone to match the elm of the seat, in time both the elm and oak will darken and develop a patina of use. This chair will be going to a cottage in North Wales where I hope it’ll have a very long life and bring pleasure to all those who look at it or even better sit in it. Please contact me if you’re interested in commissioning a chair. I preferably need a few months notice if you want it for a specific date, an anniversary or birthday perhaps. It takes time to source the right timber and time for the components to dry to the right degree before I can assemble the chair. Chairs like this and the Llangrannog arm chair cost around £1200 depending on design and materials. Terms are 50% payment up front and the rest on delivery, there may be additional charge for delivery depending on arrangements.
Originally made by village craftsmen, wheelwrights or carpenters but not specialist chair makers, the old chairs have a wide variety of shapes. They usually include a curved arm, often in the past from a naturally or specially grown piece of timber. The arm is held in place by sticks or spindles set into a substantial oak or elm seat. The legs have a jaunty angle being well set into the seat and this makes the chair look both grounded and alive as if ready to leap up. Here’s some different angle on another Llangrannog Arm Chair – this one is slightly higher backed and has octagonal legs, stretchers and front spindles.
I make high back stick chairs at present although have plans to make low back, rather like a smokers bow as well as some wilder beasts incorporating unusual pieces of wood like some of the existing ancient chairs.
Here’s some picture of those I’ve made to date. The highback stick chairs are made to order and priced from £900 depending on details like the width of the arms and whether you’d like some of your own timber included in the design. My new design, shown in second picture of the first row of pictures below – The Llangrannog armchair – is priced around £1200.