Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
Chairmaker David Wright Creates Windsor Chairs
On Saturday, April 8, Chairmaker and Kentucky School of Craft Professor David Wright will demonstrate how he creates his specialty – Windsor Chairs – from 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.
David Wright has been a woodworker for over 22 years and specializes in Windsor chairs. Originally from the Cincinnati area, his first experience with wood came when he was 7 years old and his grandfather asked him to help build a barn.
Wright attended Berea College and then went to Eastern Kentucky University where he graduated with a degree in Industrial Technology. Asked about his specialty Windsor chairs, he explains, “Instead of taking on everything, I decided it would be better to be well known for making one item, to specialize, and Windsor chairs fit the bill for me. The style came out of the British Isles and I like the historical period (1750’s – 1820’s) with which they are associated.
Wright was also looking for a challenge and a way to use hand tools such as a drawknife to complete the work. Starting by selecting a log, he makes the back spindles with a shave horse and drawknife. The legs are turned on a lathe, and the seat is roughed out and carved by hand from a solid piece of wood. The distinctive curved chair back is bent with a steaming process and all the parts lock into the seat. Wright finishes off his chairs and stools with a finish sealer that is rubbed in, and then furniture wax and steel wool is used to smooth the wood.
Works by David Wright can regularly be found at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, located just off Interstate 75 at exit 77 (Berea). The Center’s exhibits, shopping, and travel information areas are all open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the café from 11:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. The Center currently features works by more than 680 artisans from all across the Commonwealth. For more information call 859-985-5448 or visit the Center’s web site at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Commerce Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.