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Marshall McGurk, Elm House Farm, Crosby, MARYPORT, Cumbria, CA15 6SH. Tel: 01900 813200   

THE MUSEUM OF INTERESTING CHAIRS

N.B. All photos are thumbnails. The larger versions are hosted on Flickr, a very useful photosharing site. If you click on any of them, you'll be able to see the large version on Flickr.

Click to see the complete set of INTERESTING CHAIRS on Flickr

There's no particular logic to the way this page is laid out - I just add photos when I find them.

N.B. These chairs are not for sale. They are mostly customers' chairs, which have come through our workshop for reseating. They are illustrated here purely because they're interesting, and you may find one just like yours!

DANISH CORD CHAIR

Typical Danish cord chair

These elegant chairs are seated with Danish cord, which is made from tightly twisted kraft paper, making a very strong seat. The weave pattern is traditional and is held on under the seat by a series of small L-shaped nails.

CHUNKY RUSH CHAIR

chunky_rush_chair

One of a set of fairly modern dining chairs with rush seats

DIFFERENT RUSH PATTERN

different_rush_pattern

Seats like this, which are longer front-to-back than side-to-side, need a variation in the pattern or else the 'bridge' section in the middle tends to go front-to-back rather than side-to-side, making the seat a bit uncomfortable. In this case several unwoven wraps have been created at the front and back, and then the rush itself goes back in steps of 2 strands at a time, making a very attractive pattern.

BALLOON BACKED CHAIRS

baloon backed chairs

A pair of nice, straightforward bedroom chairs with balloon backs.

CHAIR WITH SUNRISE BACK

Sunrise back cane chair

A very attractive chair with caned seat and sunrise back.

UPHOLSTERED CHAIR WITH CANED BACK IN SUNSET PATTERN

Upholstered chair with a cane 'sunset' back and caned arms

Delightful little chair that was a joint effort between Simon Ireland of Keswick, who did the upholstery, and me.

SPINDLE BACKED RUSH CHAIR

Spindle backed rush chair

An elegantly proportioned rush carver. This one is genuinely old, as opposed to a lot of rush chairs that come through the workshop, with artificially aged wood.

STOOL WITH SEAGRASS SEAT IN ZIGZAG PATTERN

zigzag seagrass stool

An original pattern by Ally for either seagrass or cotton cord.

OVAL BACK

oval back

Just a nice satisfying oval caned back.

SMALL CANED ROCKER

small_caned_rocker

Unusual little rocking chair with caned back and seat.

RUSH ROCKING CHAIR

Rush rocking chair

Here's my mum's favourite teddy bear, sitting on an attractive rush rocking chair I reseated a few years ago.

CANE BACKED FIRESIDE CHAIR

cane_backed_001

Getting her favourite chair restored was a 90th birthday present for the customer's mother. I did the back and Mr Rumney at Prospect made a new comfy cushion for her.

CANING A CURVED SEAT

Caning a curved seat - stages 1 & 2

The first 2 stages are complete - the first horizontals and verticals. When doing a curved seat or back, start with the strands that will be straight - in this case, the horizontals. Then place the verticals underneath them, to preserve the curve.

FANCY ARMCHAIR WITH READY-WOVEN CANE WEBBING

Fancy chair with ready-woven caning

Yes, it really is cane webbing! You would think this had to be hand-caned, but it's actually made from panels of ready-woven cane. I believe it was made in the far east, where they're good at this sort of thing.

WHITE CANE CHAIR

white chair

A classic bentwood chair with caned seat, painted white.

ANTIQUE CHAIR (2)

Antique chair with caned panel on back plus cat

This is the neighbour of the other, similar chair. They're not the same, but came from the same house. The cat tried to help, but tended more to get in the way.

HANDMADE CHAIR

Hand made chair

A customer brought this chair and its identical neighbour for me to weave the seat in glossy lapping cane. It's a beautifully elegant design, and he had carried out the woodwork to perfection. The seat is woven in a pattern I hadn't come across before, but it was explained in detail in the customer's book. It works very well on any large seat of this type.

MEDALLION BACKED CANE CHAIR

Medallion backed chair

This is one of a set that came into our workshop a few years ago. They're quite complicated to do, as of course the medallion falls out when you remove the old caning. Not a job for a beginner, but great fun for a more experienced caner.

RUSH-SEATED CORNER CHAIR

corner_chair

Very unusual little square chair. When it came into our workshop the remains of the old seat showed it had been made with willow, much like a basket, but the owner wanted it redone in rush.

ANTIQUE CHAIR (1)

Antique chair with caned panel on the back

At one point in history the fashion for chairs with tall backs became quite silly. I believe they got much higher even than this one!

BIG LOW RUSH CARVER

big_low_rush_carver

Big low comfy armchair with a rush seat. Note how the uprights for the arms go straight through the rush.

CHILD'S CHAIR WITH MAMA BEAR

Bear on child's chair

This is Mama Bear, my mum's teddy, sitting on a pretty little child's rush chair.

BIG BLACK LACQUERED CANE SOFA

Big black lacquered cane sofa

This sofa is black lacquered and originally had oriental designs painted on it -most had worn away by th time it reached our workshop. I had to stain the cane work to match the wood.

ARTS & CRAFTS STOOL

arts_crafts_stool

Unusual rush stool from the Arts & Crafts movement. Notice how the rush patten varies from the standard one.

DAINTY RUSH CHAIR

Dainty rush chair

Really pretty little rush chair.

WOVEN RATTAN CHAIRS

Tubular Framed Caned Chair

The weave is a simple basketwork one, but it's produced using 2 strands of glossy lapping cane laid back to back. The warp strands are 3mm centre cane. It's a more complicated design than it looks!

MEDALLION BACKED CHAIR

Medallion backed chair

This is one of a set that came into our workshop a few years ago. They're quite complicated to do, as of course the medallion falls out when you remove the old caning. Not a job for a beginner, but great fun for a more experienced caner.

3 ANTIQUE CANE CHAIRS

3_antique_cane_chairs

These were part of a set of rather fine chairs that I recaned a few years ago.

3D PATTERN SEAGRASS STOOL

Tubular Framed Caned Chair

Another new pattern. Each time I think I've seen every possible pattern for a seagrass stool, another one comes along. This is a customer's stool, and was originally done in this unusual pattern, which they wanted me to recreate when I repaired the stool. It's quite interesting, in that it creates a feeling of depth, and looked at from certain angles has a sort of optical illusion effect. I'm not sure if it'll be as strong as some of the other patterns, as there are a lot of long strands with not much woven through them, but it's certainly different and quite attractive in its own way.

DANISH CORD ROCKING CHAIR

Danish Cord Rocking Chair

This chair originally had a seat and back made from ready-woven rattan webbing, but the owner gave me free rein to do whatever I liked with it, so I've replaced it with Danish cord, which I think makes a much stronger and more attractive finish.

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