Monthly Archives: April 2010

NYC Bow Back

The April 26 NYC bow back class is in session this week. This is a required class for knighthood. As usual, there are several knightings as chairmakers complete the first step in membership in the Royal Orders. Sirs Fred Dudak, John Sims, and Ken Kimber were knighted on Wednesday afternoon.   They are numbers 158 – 160.

NYC bow back is also the companion side chair for the sack back. A lot of chairmakers choose this as their second class so they complete a set of Windsors – two sacks with four to eight NYCs. For that reason, we had one of the largest Raisings in quite a while.  Six chairmakers were transformed from Entered Apprentices to Master Chairmakers. Now, they too possess the secret hand shake and the secret distress call. They can greet other Masters and are always protected, wherever they go in the world.

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Some chairmakers have gotten good publicity recently. His Grace Ralph Quick and his wife Caron, and Sir Fred Chellis and his wife Dame Priscilla were all selected for the list 200 Best Craftsmen by Early American Life magazine. His Grace Ralph and Caron also got a nice write up in their home town paper the Clarksville (MO) Monthly. His Grace makes me look handsome.  Have you seen those Capital One credit card ads with the Viking barbarians? Then you have seen Ralph. Somehow His Grace managed to convince a tall, gorgeous blond to marry him. His Grace usually makes sure that any photos that  accompany publicity show Caron. She was looking particularly nice in the Clarksville Monthly photo.

No matter what rules we make for ourselves, we can’t resist exceptions, usually to our detriment.  His Grace did  relent from his rule recently and posed for a newspaper article featuring his chair shop. Ralph, remember what Alice said when in Wonderland. “I give myself very good advice but very seldom follow it.”  From now on, let Caron pose.

His Grace wrote us this. “Just wanted to send you a copy of a photo of me showing a young boy how we make our chairs at our shop. The newspaper photo is not that good. As a matter of fact, it makes me look like I am as bald as one of the Bald Eagles here. Ha! Ha!

We had the Governor and his wife come to Clarksville over the weekend to view the Eagles, since Clarksville is known as the Eagle Capitol of the Country. While they were here, our mayor mentioned to the governor that there is a Windsor chairmaker in town. The governor’s wife is a real history buff, and is especially interested by anything to do with Daniel Boone and his time. She insisted on stopping in to see our shop and she was thrilled to find us in costume. We always dress in our colonial clothes when there are tours or events such as Eagle Days. 

  The Governor’s wife REALLY liked the Writing Arm chair and we are pretty sure she will be placing an order for one. Our Mayor, who was escorting them around town, heard her tell the Governor that she wants to have one of them in the Governor’s Mansion. So, they did take our information and such.

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Sir Ken Neiswender exchanged some emails with us that you will find interesting. This is the first. “On the update front, my church is having a mission marketplace on this Saturday where local small business set up tables, sell their wares , and donate a portion of their proceeds to the Methodist Committee on Relief.  I was asked if I’d donate a chair for a silent auction and agreed.  They chose a sack back that I carved knuckles on for the auction.  They are two church members who are talking about buying a chair from me and are looking at the auction one.  I guess there are plenty of organizations that would like free chairs, but the idea of selling a few as a result of a good cause appeals to me. We’ll see what happens.”

This is Sir Ken’s follow up. “The event raised over $1,000 for Haiti Relief, I don’t know how much of that was from the chair. You might recall when I was at C-arm class that I did a wonderful job reaming my leg holes.  They were the most perfect ever done by a student.  Dead on angles, absolute perfection except for one minor detail.  The angles were reversed.  I’ve sat in that chair at our family table for about four years, and it is the one that the auction person selected for the auction. Every time I sat in it, I thought that this is a nice chair.  If only I hadn’t screwed up the front leg angles, I would really like it.  So guess it’s good that chair went to somebody else and is helping a good cause.  Plus now I get the pleasure of making a new chair, maybe one that won’t mock me at dinner.”

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Luke Cabanel and Sir Bob Longstreet landed a great commission.  They made a group of reproduction furniture for the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia.  The two also got a nice bit of publicity out of the commission when the Philadelphia Inquirer did an article about their work. Luke was also filmed by a local television station. The segment will be 15 minutes long and will air in the fall.  Fifteen minutes on television is a very long time.  

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