'Musical Chairs'


The seat of "Chair in B-Flat Major, Op. 41" seems to float in the air. The arms of the chair seem only to be passing by the seat on their way somewhere else.

In all its parts, the chair is full of movement. It is fluid, even as it sits solid and heavy ready to serve its function.

"Chair in B-Flat Major, Op. 41" is the creation of woodworker and artist David Winters. He envisioned a chair that would mimic the motion of a conductor's baton.

Winters was one of five artists commissioned by Strings in the Mountains Music Festival to create their signature artwork for the 2005 season. Each artist was given only one piece of instruction, "Musical Chairs." The rest was left to their own interpretation.

Winters made sketch after sketch before deciding on the final design. His chair is reminiscent of the flowing modern designs that came out in the 1950s and '60s

The chair is made of Baltic birch plywood -- unknotted plywood that is layered with alternating light and dark layers. Winters' chair is glued and tapered into one solid piece. There is not a single nail or fastener used.

Winters has been working with wood since his high school woodshop years.

"I love the tactile sense of it," he said. "It is so warm and pretty. I could make something out of metal, but it just wouldn't be the same."

Winters is best known for his lathe-turned bowls made of burled woods.

"When I am working with a piece of wood, I am just a bystander," he said. "It comes to life, and when it's over, I look at it and think, 'I can't believe I did that.'"

Winters spent 220 hours building the "Chair in B-Flat Major." At first, he thought people would laugh at him for spending so much time on one chair. Then he found that the other four artists put a similar amount of effort into their pieces.

Chapman Geer, owner of Arc Welding Specialists Inc., and craftsman Jerry Gray created "Cello Chair," a steel cello that pivots on its base and holds a velvet seat. The chair is double the scale of an actual cello. Grinding and sanding


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.