Saturday, September 12, 2015

My thinking chair

I did some furniture re-arranging this week, which resulted in this wing chair being moved out of a bedroom and getting temporarily plopped into my studio.

I didn't really want the chair in my studio but I am so attached to it that I couldn't move it in the basement or some other forgotten place. This chair has spent too much time in an unloved corner. It had been in my parents' home for my entire childhood, in an attic where its upholstery had already been so old back then that it had ripped and fallen off in patches. I ignored its age and used it to play house after covering it with an old sheet. I sat in it throughout my childhood, to nurse all of my pretend babies and to use as a retreat and hiding spot when I was a brooding teenager, until I left home. When I was searching that same attic for furniture for my first apartment, I sadly passed it up. The bones were great but the upholstery and cushion were too far gone. My sweet, sweet boyfriend took note of my love for it. One Christmas after we were engaged, I opened up a present for a 6-week adult education upholstery course. My love for the chair grew after I invested in very expensive upholstery fabric and touched every part of the chair as I cleaned it, replaced the springs, built up and fixed parts of the chair, sewed the piping, measured and cut the fabric, then hammered every tack carefully into place to secure the fabric.

A handful of years ago, I added a little more love to the chair with a set of handmade pillows. I was taking a fiber arts class where I was learning embroidery and sewing. I can't remember the assignment now, but we had to make two pillows which showcased 10 or so different embroidery stitches and several different machine stitches to prove our proficiency. These pillows were the result.

While other furniture was still getting rearranged, the chair lived in my studio for a few days this week. I have always looked at this chair and pillows and felt a homey, happy feeling. It feels like my own little nest so I was naturally drawn to it in my studio. I sat in it a few times and realized the chair had landed in its new spot. It is right next to some very bright windows for reading. It faces the shelves in my studio where all of my supplies and finished work live. I can sit and daydream about projects and make connections to materials that I hadn't seen before. Plus, my cat - who has never slept in this chair before - has suddenly taken up residence to be close to me while I work. Need I find a better reason to keep it there?

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