I have been doing woodworking as a hobby for many years. This is my first foray into the realm of custom chair making. I have recently been under the teaching and tutelage of Harold Dodson, a Custom Woodworker and Chair Maker in Pickens, South Carolina. My construction techniques are patterned after Mr. Dodson’s techniques.
A woodworker since the late 80’s, I only became a serious woodworker after I built my house in 2007, during which, I ended up mustering my woodworking skills to construct the cabinetry and finish carpentry for my house. I first became enamored of the idea of building hand- crafted rockers when I saw a Sam Maloof build one of his now famous rocking chairs during a woodworking show at the Peace Center in Greenville, SC in 2007. (Picture of Sam Maloof on the left). I bought one of Sam’s books, which, he kindly autographed for me and my wife, and studied the pictures therein. It was not until 2014, when Harold took me in as a student, that I truly learned how to build a Maloof style rocking chair using the same type of joinery and design. Harold taught me from his 15 years of experience, what techniques are needed. I also discovered that Harold and I had a common understanding; the beauty of wood lies in its heart and may be found through patient labor, careful appreciation of its characteristics, and careful selection of the pieces that go into making a chair. The first one, which we made together is the photograph on the right.