The whole reason for this series of posts to exists revolves around one single concept: no matter how accomplished you are, there’s always something you consider out of reach.
By showing examples of things that some pretty accomplished woodworkers consider their “ultimate” project, I hope to inspire you to dive in and give your projects a try. I’ve certainly found in my case and in the case of most of my apprentices and students, the fear of making a fatal mistake is usually what holds a woodworker back. Many of the folks who have shown up in this series, and who will show up later in the series, are people that some consider to be at the pinnacle of their woodworking. Some consider them to be role models for where they’d like their woodworking skills to go. What I wanted to show is just because you believe someone has gone as far as they can possibly go it doesn’t mean they believe it. All of us look at something and say “Man! I want to give that a try someday. I just hope my skills are up to it.”
Today’s woodworker is none other than our very own Wood Whisperer himself, Marc Spagnuolo. Now, I met Marc online a while back (and I’m looking forward to meeting in person at WIA ) and took an instant liking to him. I’d been a fan of the Wood Talk Online show for quite some time but had never talked directly with Marc (or Matt for that matter). Both the show and Marc’s website highlight techniques and projects which show Marc’s abilities as a woodworker, which are quite formidable. So, what does someone of Marc’s abilities consider his “ultimate” project? When I asked him, there seemed to be no hesitation. “For me, its the Blacker House chair. The joinery, the trapezoidal legs…….amazing stuff.” Marc replied.
I agree with his thoughts on the project. It is a pretty cool piece and I hope he tries it out one day soon. I’m sure his piece will be as simply amazing as the original. Make sure you post some pics Marc.
I too have a chair that falls onto my bucket list. It’s a period chair, of course. In fact, it’s one of the few period pieces that makes my bucket list. This is a chair that has long captured my imagination. When it first was discovered, it was thought to be a sample chair possibly made by Benjamin Randolph. Once a few more were discovered, it became apparent that this “one of a kind” chair was part of a fairly large set. With a little more reseach, it was found that the owner of this unbelievable set of chairs was General John Cadwalader.
Photo courtesy of Christie’s.
For me, the chair represents a number of hurdles that will stretch my abilities. The curved seat, the backsplat which is made in four pieces, not to mention the amount and quality of the carving all make this a tour de force of 18th Century cabinetmaking. When I finally get there, I’ll do my best to document the entire process for you. The only thing I can say for sure is, this chair won’t likely end up on the class schedule any time soon.