Chris Williams is a skilled chair maker who lives and works in rural West Wales. He specialises in Welsh stick chairs, a primitive chair unique to Wales that is thought to date back as far as the 13th century. Chris continues to craft and evolve these chairs into contemporary forms for the modern day, using traditional hand tools and locally sourced oak, elm and ash, or other suitable timbers when they become available.
Welsh stick chairs are unique in the sense that they were not made by fine furniture makers; they were chairs made through necessity and so were made by local craftsman or the village carpenter. Wood for the chairs was found growing in the hedgerows and woodlands, making each chair individual, with their shape determined by the natural character of the wood. Unlike Windsor Chairs, which were made in volume to a set design, no two Welsh stick chairs were the same, all displaying a variety in number of sticks, shape of seat, or stretch of back, yet it is these very elements that make these chairs identifiable.
Chris continues to celebrate the idiosyncrasy of the traditional Welsh stick chairs by making each chair individual. He doesn’t work with any set plans, and so takes an organic approach to each chair, working with the natural character of the wood being used. Chris adopts the refined methods of construction he learned from his late friend and mentor, John Brown. Chris is currently writing a book on the life and work of John Brown for Lost Art Press, and continues to produce contemporary Welsh stick chairs for a new generation.
If you would like to chat with Chris regarding his chairs, please get in touch.