I recently had a chance to be a foster parent for a few short weeks. An acquaintance of mine, actually an acquaintance of an acquaintance’s neighbor gained custody of a Hans J. Wegner designed CH36 dining chair by Carl Hansen & Son.This person wanted me to pick up the chair and give it shelter until transport to its forever home could be arranged. I was quite willing to help and went over to the agency/auction house and picked it up.

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My ward in front of the adoption agency.

As a precaution, I took little Hans to a local practitioner for a checkup:

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One of Pittsboro, NC’s best known clinics at The Woodwright’s School.

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In the waiting room patiently anticipating his turn.

Eventually Dr. Underhill came out and did a quick evaluation:

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The Doctor is not sure what to think examining this stranger in a strange land.

We then took it into the clinic for a more through exam:

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The Doctor is listening for parasitic infestation while his assistant, Bill Anderson, looks for external signs of disease.

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Here Dr. Anderson is checking for scoliosis.

Then a tragedy was averted. Will Myers, of Moravian workbench fame, and Ed Lebetkin of the Woodwright’s Tool Store were about to adjust limb length based on a misinterpretation of the ratios in Walkers/Tolpins’ By Hand & Eye.

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Bad math but good technique…  Fortunately, the first aid kit was nearby.

We had a chance to meet with famed woodcarver Mary May. She had a few ideas of her own.

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Mary May suggesting some orthotics of a more traditional design to deal with his obviously flat feet.

Next, a trip to respected conservator Martin O’Brien’s shop for a consultation.

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Here Martin is overwhelmed by the Wegner’s raw beauty and the yet unrealized potential.

Brandy Clements of Silver River Center for Chair Caning lead us in a discussion of style and color:

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Once a blonde, always a blonde?

When introduced to scholar/furniture maker Jerome Bias, the discussion immediately turned to how Thomas Day (pre-Civil War North Carolina cabinetmaker and free man of color) might have built it.

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What would Thomas do?

No day of visitations would be complete without visit to noted Windsor chair maker, Elia Bizzarri.

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Here Elia is try to figure out where all the other chair parts are. There just aren’t enough.

He tried to help. I had to stop him.

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When the only tool you own a froe, all problems look like green oak…

The last stop was at the home of my immigrant neighbors to meet some of his younger countrymen.

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No matter the differences, you know they proudly share a common ancestry.

It had been a long day when I finally showed him to his room.

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Small but comfortable and very private.

Tomorrow, I take him on a tour of the furniture centers of North Carolina to help him understand his cultural heritage:

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A major international folk festival is held here. Exotic foods and crafts are on display.

And a trip to MESDA (Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts) to help explain regional differences.

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At Old Salem he got to spend time with some locals.