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Class Spotlight: Modern Chair with Dawson Moore

I’m excited to welcome Dawson Moore to Berea next spring over April 25-29 for his modern ladder back chair class.  I’ve followed his work for the past few years (you can follow his craft on Instagram @michigansloyd).   I jumped at the chance to work with him at Pine Croft.

His chairs are a combination of modern lines and traditional handwork.  They’re a perfect bend.  The chairs show the makers hand (which is something I look for when enjoying handmade chairs).  But it’s the detailing that keeps me coming back to it.  Each detail is considered.  The lower rungs are lifted, which gives the chair a lighter appearance while providing the necessary strength.  The upper slats are wide enough to provide support without any unnecessary bulkiness and they catch the sitter is just the right spot.  He finishes the chair with the envelope pattern danish paper cord seat.  Perfect choice: clean, uniform, and complimentary to the handmade chair.

The way Dawson utilizes the straight grain may not be apparent to a new maker, but is vital for both the durability and appearance.  I love how the grain runs across the slats.  It’s a minor part of the the chair, but one that gives it a feeling of balance and harmony.  Simply put: It is right (actually, that’s how I feel about the entire chair).

I also like that Dawson’s using traditional skills and techniques with an eye towards modern design.   This isn’t a purely green woodworking, or a machine-centric build, but a blend of the two approaches.  A considered approach that uses the precision and repeatability of the machines when their strengths are appropriate and the uniqueness and personality of hand work when it adds to the character of the design.

All chair makers have their tricks and surprises that sets their work apart.  Some are free flowing.  Others are engineers, working towards precision.  I’m looking forward to seeing Dawson’s approach to chair making.  There’s consideration for each detail.  It’s a gorgeous chair, that much is apparent.  It’ll fit perfectly into a week-long course.

I’m thankful he’s sharing it with us in Berea.

Andy Glenn

(please reach out with questions about Dawson’s class or any other we offer in early 2022: