Swimming in the Deep End

Our “Centerbrook Chairshop” gives architects the opportunity to design and fabricate their own chair. They have access to our model and workshops and the expert guidance of in-house craftsmen Patrick McCauley and Ron Campbell. For an hour one morning recently, that talent pool was expanded with experts from Thos. Moser, prominent designers and makers of handmade furniture.

Chairshop participants Ben Mayne, Cassie Archer, Scott Allen, and Hugo Fenaux presented their designs to Peter Basil, Mark Paisley, and Mike Brown, who were beamed in from Moser’s workshop in Auburn, Maine. Each chair maker had questions for them that covered aesthetics, material selection, and fabrication techniques. They used models, mock-ups, and drawings to convey their ideas.

Ben is experimenting with cables to add rigidity to his bent-plywood shell. Cassie is working out the joinery on her leather sling chair. The focal point of Hugo’s chair will be its bent back, but how to design it for comfort and a pleasing shape? And Scott’s truck inspired leaf spring suspension system will require testing both hardwoods and plywoods to get the flex-to-strength ratio just right.

We’re looking forward to the Chairshop unveiling later this year. In the meantime, we value the care with which each is conceived, and the talented artisans, near and far, who offer advice along the way.

Centerbrook Chairshop History