One of the classes I am taking this semester is a furniture design class with Stewart Wessel. For our first project we were all supposed to build the “Red and Blue Chair.” This chair was designed in 1917 as one of the first explorations by the De Stijl art movement. The original chair was made with unstained beech wood and was not painted until the early 1920’s.
Part of this project was to have a concept with our design. My concept focuses on the joinery of the vertical and horizontal elements of the chair. The original joinery of this chair used dowels that were hidden once the chair was fully assembled. I decided to change the joinery by using 3/8” square pegs and exposing them 3/8 of an inch. The square wooden pegs resemble the horizontal and vertical components of the chair but at a smaller scale (Fig.1).
I also used reclaimed lumber from a granary built in the 1960’s. The lumber was used for the granary’s interior structural wall so it had a lot of nails in it. To express the reclaimed lumber in my chair I decided to put a natural stain on it, and paint the newer lumber to match the color of the original chair (Fig.2). I also left several nail holes exposed in the vertical elements to help show that it was reclaimed lumber. There were only four screws in the entire chair while the rest was held together by dry-fit pegs. I used a 3/8” mortising chisel bit to make the square holes and I planed down the reclaimed lumber for the square pegs. The pegs were then painted black to make them stand out from the vertical and horizontal components.