In The News!
Read about our guild members that are in the news! If you have an article to send us, please use the Contact Page.
We would love to share your story!
Click on any photo to learn more in the articles!
Brandy Clements and Dave Klingler at
100th Anniversary at
It takes a lot for a business to last 100 years. H.H. Perkins Company President Ray DeFrancesco has seen many highs and lows, but he still loves what he does.
“If you enjoy what you do, time flies,” he says, “It’s different every day.”
This year marks the 100 years in business for the company, which sells basketweaving- and chair-caning supplies and window treatments, in addition to offering in-home furniture repair and restoration.
About 60 years ago, Ray’s father and three uncles purchased the company from the Perkins family. Ray has worked for the company, now located at 370 State Street in North Haven, since 1982. He says he initially had no intention to be with the company for the long haul.
He had graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in journalism that same year, and was working part-time at Perkins and interviewing for jobs in journalism and public relations. A major flood that caused severe damage to the company’s former Woodbridge location caused him to get really involved in the business.
He noticed the company didn’t have any computers, and kept client records on index cards. Ray set up the company’s first computer system, and he and his girlfriend Caryl (they’ve since married) transferred all the information from the index cards to the computers.
Ray and two cousins bought out his father and uncles in 1994. Until that point, the company only sold weaving material, but Ray decided to also start doing repairs and restorations.
“It really increased the business over the years,” he said.
Read more in the article to the left.
David Dick, former Vice-President of TSWG was featured on his local news station on his 42 years of chair caning and seatweaving!
Take a look and hear his story here
Jay Rosen, North Coast FIX
New TSWG member Jay, was featured in a local online magazine, Coast Weekend Arts & Entertainment. He tells us about his shop which focuses on restoration.
See more here
Bessie was at the Gathering this year, and her transformation is featured in a new blog!
Do you have unique ways to promote your business? Please send them to us! Use the Contact Page
Country Woman Magazine
Cathryn Peters, aka The Wicker Woman was featured with her hand-twisted rush chair seat weaving and antler basketry in the Good Neighbors section of the August/September issue of Country Woman magazine." https://www.facebook.com/CountryWomanMag/"
ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Artists are bringing an ancient craft to Asheville.
Caning is the ancient art of weaving chairs using the outer bark of the Rattan palm. The bark is pulled into strips and used to weave the seats of chair, often taken hours of tedious work.
The 9th Annual Gathering of The SeatWeavers' Guild is July 29-31 at the Folk Art Center Auditorium. On Sunday, people can try their hand at the craft during the SeatWeaving Roadshow. It's free and open to the public from 12pm-4pm.
The SeatWeaving Roadshow includes hands-on demonstrations and exhibits.
Sue Muldoon has a passion for chairs, so she got into the business of repairing chairs that hold sentimental value to people. Check out her story! Click the link on the video for more information.
Brandy Clements: Chair Caner
Brandy Clements has chair caning in her blood. Her paternal great-grandmother practiced chair caning in Charlottesville, Virginia, and taught her children. Clements’ grandmother, Ida Clements, weaved chairs with her husband in the 1940’s as a way to support their family. And Clements’ Aunt Linda was an avid chair caner and handed down the skill to her.
Though raised in South Carolina, Clements spent her summers teaching arts and crafts at Falling Creek Camp in Tuxedo, NC which permanently secured a special place for WNC in her heart. She went on to earn her degree in Exercise Science and Health (read more here)
Wayne Sharp likes to joke that he first learned caning, the art of weaving chair seats and backs, in an attempt to win over Vernon the "Swede" Eriksen, his wife's Scandinavian rattan-plaiting dad.
"My father-in-law when he met me wanted to make sure I had at least one skill to support his daughter," Sharp said with a laugh.
It probably didn't help that Sharp couldn't afford to buy his wife furniture when they first got married almost 40 years ago.
Pioneer Village is the number one stop when my sister and I visit the Indiana State Fair every year. Second would be the draft horse competitions in the big indoor arena. Walking through the Pioneer Village is like going back in time. From the antique tractors, farm animals, steam engines, and the many people demonstrating hand craft techniques that you just don’t see many people doing these days. With everything being so high tech and fast paced, it is refreshing and humbling to see how people used to live in the pioneer days. The last 3-4 years I thought it would be fun to be part of this event. Last year I asked a gentlemen, dressed up in his bib overalls, “What does it take to volunteer for the pioneer village? I said my sister and I do seat weaving. He said “you just did”. So I left my information with him. We were emailing back and forth all winter. Then lost contact. No response. So I figure he found someone else.
This year we went to the fair and of course went to the Pioneer Village. No seat weaver. ... read more
A 36-year-old Brownstown man spent a good part of his childhood learning how to repair antique woven chairs — and making a little spending money.
Seat weaving, which also is known as chair caning, is a skill Andrew “Andy” Dick picked up as a child from his father.
And although Dick knew he would probably never make a living repairing the weaving on antique chairs, the Paris, Illinois, native decided that keeping up that skill would provide him some relaxation from his work as an anesthesiologist.
TSWG Note: Andy Dick ia a Member -at-Large on our Board of Directors. See the photos from the article HERE
Have you ever wondered how those cane seat chairs you grew up with were made? You know the ones: they look like honeycombs in shape with big holes all over the seat? How did they do all that intricate lace type weaving and what makes them strong enough to sit on? Or maybe you've sat in one of those big old porch cane rockers with the woven seat and backs and marveled at how comfortable they were to sit in? Want to learn how to supplement your retirement income, furniture making or refinishing business by offering chair seat weaving, but are afraid to try? Well, here's your chance to test the waters and learn all about the two most popular and traditional types of chair caning techniques. On day one students will try their hands at hole-to-hole, hand, or strand chair caning--woven right through the holes drilled in the stool frame. Then on Sunday everyone will weave the porch cane footstool, woven with wider binding cane and go "over the rails," making a twill or herringbone design on both the top and bottom of the seat. Cathryn will dispel the mystery of chair seat weaving by presenting a lively discussion and brief chair seating history session each day. Shell qualify the terminology, show several variations to each type of seat weaving and concentrate on these two basic and fundamental patterns and materials. Most folks call all types of woven chair seats "chair caning," for lack of a better term. But as you'll learn from this class, chair caning is only one aspect of the chair seat weaving craft
Published on Jul 24, 2015
ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- A mountain business in the River Arts District is working to revive the dying art of chair caning.
News 13's photography staff takes us inside the nation's only chair caning school and museum in this week's Carolina Moment.
Home of the 2016 Seatweavers' Gulid, Inc Gathering