Full-Scale Drawings: How to Make a democratic Side Chair
Full-scale detailed rendering of Curtis' democratic Windsor side chair. The four pages include a contour map of the seat carving, the octagonal parts, half-scale side and front views, and a template page printed on 4 mil mylar that contains the seat pattern and the bending form pattern. Drawings are rolled and shipped in a tube.
Woodworking can be an expensive venture; this eliminates a large portion of the world's population from taking part. The democratic chair was specifically designed to be made with just a few hand tools, allowing more people access to the craft.
I chose the word democratic to describe this chair. It is an echo of a philosophy that writer and maker Bill Coperthwaite embodied. Bill is known for his philosophy of democratic living "which (is) about enabling every human being to have agency and control over their lives". He was interested in people and cultures that utilized what he termed democratic tools, tools that anyone could own and use. Bill also put forth a design for a democratic chair which he says is not the ideal chair but should be a chair to stimulate others. To quote Bill from his book, “A Handmade Life” "I would like to see what those who are reading this might come up with for ideas for a handmade chair that is light, comfortable, strong, beautiful, simple to make from easily found materials". I humbly offer my version of a democratic chair. If Bill were alive, I would hope that he would applaud my efforts but also view it like he viewed his chair. A chair that is not the ideal chair but a chair which might stimulate others to create their own democratic chair.