Rocking Chair

Human Factors, Semantics & Aesthetics, Fabrication • What makes a handmade object loved, and what counts as handmade?


The chair is made entirely from rift cut sycamore. Parachute cord in tension creates a comfortable back and seat while allowing the construction of the chair to hold the primary visual impact. Consistency among individual parts creates a unified composition while showcasing joinery and proportion. 

This chair is an exploration of the range of semantic possibilities within strict utilitarian constraints.

Many compositions of runner, seat, back, arms, and support were considered before landing on the final form.

Prototype 1 was based on dimensions found online and taken from the rocking chairs available. 

Prototype 5, made from plywood and twine, is meant to be a 1:1 replica of the final. Prototypes 2, 3, and 4 didn't make it to completion.

Countersunk holes where the nylon cord would terminate were drilled deeper to accommodate the knot. The seat pan and back two pieces were made on the CNC to precisely space holes, cut radiuses, and trim the angled kink in the back between the two pieces.

Runners were built using bent lamination. Sequential 3/16" pieces were glued together, clamped, and the next day cleaned up on the drum sander and bandsaw.

Blind spline joints supplement end grain back kink. The splines leverage a third face of face grain gluing area to maximize strength.