I live close to High Wycombe (Buckinghamshire), and both High Wycombe and the surrounding area has a strong connection with furniture making, and, in particular chairs.
Up until not so long ago, the beech woods were used and worked in by ‘chiltern bodgers’ who were skilled craftsmen who used the beech trees to turn chair legs and parts on their pole lathes, and sell them to the local furniture makers, to make chairs.
I use not dissimilar methods, using a foot operated pole lathe to create chair etc. parts – and some of the timber I use is local – e.g. purchased from the National Trust, locally, to me. The differences are that I work in my own studio and complete the furniture items from start to finish myself, and sell them myself.
The High Wycombe Museum contains a section on chair making, and is an excellent place to go – however it is closing for refurbishment in the near future, so this week I have made a visit myself to take some photos, some of which are enclosed.
Please do support your local museums, they are an important part of our local heritage.