The student woodworking club at Cerritos College, where I teach, invited a local furniture maker to teach a class on Danish cord seat weaving. David Johnson, of Sidecar Furniture, taught the class.
I have always admired Danish cord seats. Danish cord looks great, with a clean, airy feel. It’s lightweight, very strong, and comfortable. It’s one of those things that I’ve wanted to do for a while and had planned to incorporate into a set of dining chairs. (If I ever complete the two I started a couple of years ago, the remaining four will have Danish cord seats.)
We had to bring something to weave and the suggested project was a stool based on one of David’s designs. Tweaking things a bit to suit my taste, I used cherry for the wood and flared the legs a bit. “Gumby” legs, as David put it.
The first part of the class was Saturday, March 24; it continues on the following Saturday. I’ll be camping in Death Valley next Saturday, so I had to hustle through the first day to make sure I could complete my project without further instruction. By the end of the day, I had completed the “spokes,” as David calls them, and was ready for the weave (I don’t remember David’s term for that – weave may or may not be correct). The actual terms are warp and weft, but that’s too confusing.
The process is not very hard, but it is a bit tedious and time-consuming. The best way to do it would be to put on some music and get into the rhythm of it. It took me a day to make the stool, an hour or two of finishing spread out over several days, and a long day to weave the seat. David says he can do a seat and a half in a day. With that in mind, the whole project could be done in a weekend if you used a quick drying finish.
I was really happy with the end product. My wife loves it too. Thanks to David for a great class; I’m sorry I won’t be there next week to pick up on any extra bits of wisdom I’m sure he’ll deliver.