Tom created this elegant English walnut rocking chair for Cheltenham’s Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design exhibition in 2015. Inspired by the designs of revered furniture maker and woodworker Sam Maloof, it took roughly 200 hours to make and is 90% hand-made.
The design process began, as ever, with the timber. Having sourced some English Walnut – Tom’s favourite choice of wood – he set to work, creating a template which would help determine the sizing of each component. A new set of Japanese hand tools were purchased just for the job; tools which allowed Tom to get the shapely curves and smooth finish his traditional metal working rasps and files simply couldn’t.
Auspicious Furniture Workshop
Japanese Hand Tools
The design evolved organically. As each component was created, it was tested, allowing Tom to refine every curve to perfection. Before any shaping began he assembled the structure and positioned the joints, making adjustments as he went to make sure the chair felt just right. Once each piece of walnut was in place, he began to work on the chair’s natural, elegant form, using his new tools to perfect the smooth, unbroken lines which flow through the chair. Finally, the finishing process brought the walnut’s rich tones to life. With every coat of Danish oil, a different colour emerged.
Although the chair is composed of numerous individual timbers – the seat alone is made up of 5 pieces – up close the rocker appears seamless. A testament to Tom’s expertise.
Tom’s rocker now takes pride of place in the Auspicious showroom, where clients can admire his craftsmanship and even try out its flawless, rhythmic rocking motion for themselves.