Last week I had the opportunity to attend an informal meeting of the professional refinishers’ group at the shop of Martin O’Brien, well-known Winston Salem conservator and cabinetmaker. One of the presenters was Brandy Clements of the Silver River Center for Chair Caning in Asheville, NC.  She is the first person named Brandy I’ve ever met, male of female, Thankfully it was Brandy and not Brandi or Brandee. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.


A picture of Ms. Clements that allows her to maintain her anonymity. She’s the one in black.

Ms. Clements demonstrated both caning and weaving techniques and gave background information on different materials and the history of each. Good stuff all.

Needing to make this blog about me, I went into the archives to see if I had and pictures of chairs with caned or woven seats. Turns out I found 110 pictures without raising a blister. Pointing and clicking can be painful.

I’ve largely avoided becoming too involved in chairs because, to paraphrase a popular poet/philosopher, “Who knew chairs would be hard?” There’s so many different types of them. Casework is comparatively simple by comparison.

What I found were some fancy seats:


From Lisbon which they tell me is in Portugal.

Elegant seats:


Lisbon has several historic buildings with amazing furniture.

Some very nice chairs:


More from the auction house.

Some better than nice chairs:


From Hart’s Square near Hickory, NC.

Some utilitarian chairs:


From the LSU Rural Life Museum in Baton Rouge, LA.

Some chairs with stretched leather seats:


Also from the Rural Life Museum.

Chairs of all sizes:


A small rocker from a Greensbooro antiques dealer.

And finally no collection would be complete without a chair from the Far East:


A Chinese Huanghuali Folding Horseshoe Chair.

The whole set is available for your viewing pleasure HERE.