Chair Share: Anna Shakun

Anna Shakun is a practitioner of yoga, and it shows in her chair. Rendered in a Shaker style, it is supremely comfortable, conforming perfectly to the curve of the back as it promotes good posture.

While Anna’s chair looks simple, its design and fabrication were anything but. Hand sketches helped her work out its form, especially the all-important lumbar support. More advanced design explorations were done in 3D on the computer, after which she crafted a mockup out of poplar. As she put theory into practice, Anna found that to achieve the curves she sought, each piece needed to be made with a jig. Undaunted, she crafted several. In the process, she refined both the design and how the pieces came together, realizing that steam-bent red oak was the material of choice for the final chair.

Anna is proud of the minimal use of metal fasteners, instead relying mainly on wooden pegs, biscuits, and mortise and tenon joinery. The seat, inspired by the American furniture maker Thos. Moser, is chisel carved from three pieces of cherry, while the back slats are made of thin strips of oak bent separately before getting laminated together. The sturdy legs are made of eight oak strips each.

The finish was hand-rubbed linseed oil. Anna was a bit surprised how the oil brought out the reddish blonde oak and the dark cherry, but she loves how the grain is expressed. We think her deceptively simple chair is magnificent and makes sitting up straight a pleasure.