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Schedule July 14-16, 2023

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Friday

 

Registration

Register at The Finnish Center

Meet and greet and registration! 

1pm-7 pm

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Friday Night

 Social Time!

Meet us at the 

Brewery!

https://www.wachusettbrewingcompany.com/

Nothing fancy planned, just a chance to socialize and wind down from your trip!

 

 

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 Saturday

 

9:30 AM

 

Introduction:

Sue Muldoon

Rhonda Voos 

Chris Pera

Meet our Hosts!

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Saturday 

10:00 AM

Pat Perkins :

Greenwood Windsor Chairmaking

Pat will demonstrate how he creates beautiful Windsor chairs

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 Saturday

 

11:30 AM

 

Chris Pera:

Chris, our resident of Gardner MA will present a talk on the history (and especially chairmaking) of the furniture industry in and around Gardner, MA

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Saturday 

1:00 PM

Rhonda Voos

Hitchcock Chairs

Learn more about repairing Hitchcock chairs. The original factory was in

Riverton, CT 

Now located in Winstead, CT

 

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 Saturday

 

2:00 PM

 

Jen Cardwell:

Jen will demonstrate wicker restoration.

Heywood Wakefield had a wicker factory in Gardner, MA

 

Saturday 

3:00 PM

Lynn Phillips-Nulicek

Lynn will demonstrate weaving techniques on a Keene Porch Rocker.

New Hampshire was prolific in manufacturing porch rockers.

 

 

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Saturday

 

4:00

 

Wayne Sharp:

Fancy Patterns

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Saturday Evening

New England Style BBQ Dinner

After dinner enjoy the Revontulet Dancers! A Finnish Folk Dance group

 

 

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Sunday

 

10:00 AM

 

Annual Meeting

Vote in new members, learn about the Guild

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Sunday

11:00 AM

Tips and Tricks

Bring your favorite ideas to save time, different tools, anything about seatweaving or the business of it!

 

 

 Saturday

 

2:00 PM

 

Jen Cardwell:

 

Heywood Wakefield

Intricate wicker furniture Where to start! Detective work.
 

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Saturday 

3:00 PM

Lynn Nulichek

Porch Rockers

Comfy porch rockers!

Learn about some history and different weaves.

 

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Sunday

 

Noon-4

 

Seating Exhibit

By the "Giant Chair" Gardner, MA

About Our Presenters:

 

Sue Muldoon

Sue Muldoon divides her time between 3-dimensional and 2-dimensional work. She bounces back and forth between photography, web design and graphic design to seatweaving (chair caning, wicker repair, rush, splint, etc.) and basket weaving.

Basketry started as an add-on to seat weaving because there was material begging to be used in more than one format.

Sue’s career has always been creative, from wallpaper hanging and interior painting to a lengthy career in the floral industry as designer and merchandiser. Wood carving, furniture refinishing and upcycling furniture in novel ways using unique materials like leather belts, ties and alpaca wool set her apart from traditional seatweaving methods.

Color is rampant and unapologetic.

Where some might see a chair, Sue sees a statement. She spends the majority of her time now repairing seats (an unabashed “chairnerd” and webmaster of The SeatWeavers Guild, Inc), teaching seatweaving and basketry and vending at different venues.

She considers her seatweaving work to be part functional and part emotional. Along with repairing chairs, she repairs the memories that are attached to seats that are in demise and disrepair. The joy on a client’s face when they see family history brought back to functionality is inspiring.

A frequent instructor at various woodworking schools, sheep, wool and fiber festivals, art retreats and farmers markets, she enjoys sharing seatweaving and basketmaking to new crafters and artisans.

You can see Sue’s work at www.reduxforyou.com and www.suemuldoonimages.com

Rhonda Voos:

My seat weaving career began with a chair I took from my parents’ house when I moved from our Cleveland Hts, Ohio home after college. I later took the board off the seat and saw that it had caning on it. I was living in Connecticut in 1983 and took a class from Cathy Meder in Guilford. She taught me how to hand cane and to replace a press caned seat. I moved on to redo some of my mother-in-law’s chairs, then chairs of her friends and so The Country Caner business began. I taught classes in Adult Education programs for about 10 years in hand & machine caning, rush, and splint weaving.

Around 1989 when I was at the HH Perkins Co, buying caning materials, I saw a cardboard sign on the wall for someone looking for a caning instructor. I called Arlene Szczarba who set me on the path of a 30-year career. She was working with individuals with mental illness starting a caning business called The Association of Artisans to Cane (AAC) in New Haven, CT. They needed my help with chairs they didn’t know how to do. This program eventually became part of Marrakech, Inc, a CT based private non-profit agency. I came with the program and started my career running The Association of Artisans to Cane. We worked with individuals with developmental, physical and mental disabilities who we taught to do the caning repairs for our customers. The business grew to include an art program, a storefront gift shop and is now called East Street Arts. (https://www.eaststreetartsnh.org)

I retired 2 years ago but continue to work on repairing chairs and baskets at home for my own clients. I particularly like repairing wicker furniture and Danish modern pieces. I enjoy the process of figuring out how to fix them. I also do traditional hand caning, splint weaving, Danish cord, machine caning, shaker tape and fiber rush if I have to! I am a basket weaver and hope to learn to weave with willow in my retirement! That is when I’m not out hiking, sailing, gardening or travelling!

 

Pat Perkins :

Greenwood Windsor Chairmaking

 

After graduating from Fitchburg State University, Patrick Perkins embarked on a career in education that has lasted more than four decades. As an industrial arts teacher, Patrick taught many aspects of woodworking and technical drawing to middle school students. After numerous years in the classroom, Patrick became a school administrator, a position he held until his retirement in 2023. 

 

Following an inspirational trip to Colonial Williamsburg, Patrick built his first Windsor chair in the early 1980s. He has since built many Windsor chairs in several different styles using the same techniques and tools used in the construction of Windsor chairs throughout the 18th century.  In addition to building Windsor chairs, Patrick builds other types of furniture and most recently,  has built and restored numerous split-bamboo fly rods. 

 

Join Patrick as he shares his knowledge and experience designing and building Windsor chairs.   During his presentation, Patrick will describe the types of wood used in chair construction and how wood is taken directly from logs and fashioned into finished chair parts. Patrick will also share examples of the antique-style tools used in chair construction and how milk paint and oil are combined to produce a durable finish.

Chris Pera

Chris is a lifelong resident of Gardner MA, with a deep interest in the community’s history. He is a Professional Land Surveyor registered in Massachusetts, having worked in the profession for the past 27 years, starting his own business in 2014. He also serves on many of the community’s historical boards and is active in the local Scouting community.

 

In 2015 Chris and his son went to explore the remains of an old factory site in Gardner, and when stopping in to ask permission of the property owner to explore the property, they found an older gentleman in his 80’s weaving a fibre rush seat on a ladder back chair. This would begin Chris’ interest in seat weaving and chairs. Over the next few years, Chris would watch and ask questions of the 2 gentlemen, both 2nd generation owners of the business that made rush seat ladderback chairs for over 80 years, on the site of a previous chair manufacturing company that began making chairs on-site in 1827. In October 2018, the 2 gentlemen closed the chair making business, and a few years later Chris had the opportunity to purchase the buildings and manufacturing machinery, in the hopes of preserving some part of chair manufacturing in Gardner, still known as “Chair City.”

 

Chris joined the Seatweaver’s Guild in 2020 to learn more about the art and craft of seatweaving from its many members, first participating through many of the casual zoom conversations during the pandemic.

Rhonda Voos

My seat weaving career began with a chair I took from my parents’ house when I moved from our Cleveland Hts, Ohio home after college. I later took the board off the seat and saw that it had caning on it. I was living in Connecticut in 1983 and took a class from Cathy Meder in Guilford. She taught me how to hand cane and to replace a press caned seat. I moved on to redo some of my mother-in-law’s chairs, then chairs of her friends and so The Country Caner business began. I taught classes in Adult Education programs for about 10 years in hand & machine caning, rush, and splint weaving.

Around 1989 when I was at the HH Perkins Co, buying caning materials, I saw a cardboard sign on the wall for someone looking for a caning instructor. I called Arlene Szczarba who set me on the path of a 30-year career. She was working with individuals with mental illness starting a caning business called The Association of Artisans to Cane (AAC) in New Haven, CT. They needed my help with chairs they didn’t know how to do. This program eventually became part of Marrakech, Inc, a CT based private non-profit agency. I came with the program and started my career running The Association of Artisans to Cane. We worked with individuals with developmental, physical and mental disabilities who we taught to do the caning repairs for our customers. The business grew to include an art program, a storefront gift shop and is now called East Street Arts. (https://www.eaststreetartsnh.org)

I retired 2 years ago but continue to work on repairing chairs and baskets at home for my own clients. I particularly like repairing wicker furniture and Danish modern pieces. I enjoy the process of figuring out how to fix them. I also do traditional hand caning, splint weaving, Danish cord, machine caning, shaker tape and fiber rush if I have to! I am a basket weaver and hope to learn to weave with willow in my retirement! That is when I’m not out hiking, sailing, gardening or travelling!

 

 

Jen Cardwell

My name is Jennifer Cardwell and I am the sole owner of JC Caning, LLC in New Kent, VA. I am truly blessed in my career as the art of seat weaving provides me the opportunity to work independently from home.

 

I graduated from the Department of Communication Arts and Design at Virginia Commonwealth University in 1994, with a degree in graphic design and photography. I worked for many years managing design departments at trade show exhibit and museum exhibit companies. After we moved to a rural area, building a freelance clientele proved impossible. Blessedly, seat weaving was brought to my attention by a friend and I jumped right in. I am self taught learning from books, YouTube, and members of The Cane and Wicker Restoration Facebook group.

 

Confident in this business endeavor, I incorporated in May of 2017. A steady flow of work comes from local furniture repair and upholstery businesses. I designed my website, have been mentioned in local newspapers, and business has increased and I am running a continual waitlist that is staying around 12-18 months out.

 

I have been fortunate to have worked on some beautiful and expensive pieces; a Brumby rocker, a Thonet chair circa 1890, a pair of Hunter rockers, a pair of Ebert Wels Yugoslavian folding chairs, a S. Karen & Bros. chair from the late 1800s, a pair of Hans Wegner JH-501, a full set Klismos dining chairs by Baker, and a Hitchcock sofa.

Wicker projects continually presented themselves so I decided to tackle the wicker learning curve. I have completed wicker weaves on metal frames and a full

restoration of a 1930’s porch swing. So I was asked to do a wicker demonstration at this years gathering. I only have a few projects under my belts but learned a lot and am excited to share what I know (or don’t know).

 

Jen Cardwell, Treasurer, TSWG

jen@jccaning.com

www.jccaning.com

Lynn Phillips-Nulicek

Lynn is a former bookstore general manager now satisfying her personal creative passions through chair weaving as owner and operator of Hank’s Cane & Rush Restoration.  Predominantly self-taught, Lynn has mastered many of the weave patterns and knowledge of materials necessary to sustain a dying art form – cane and rush restoration.  Lynn is a mother and grandmother dedicated to her family and friends in the Chicago area.  It is her commitment to relationships and family traditions that fosters her desire to preserve generational memories; as Lynn likes to say “Every chair has a story to tell”

You can find her at https://www.chairweave.com/

Wayne Sharp

Wayne Sharp Chair Caner Extraordinaire. Restoring Treasured Memories.

I have these two signs on my “Caning Cave” door. The first a 90+ year old fellow caner cut out by jig saw & presented to me. I was SO VERY HONORED to have this gentleman create this for me. The second sign reminds me every time I pass through the doorway, the purpose of my work.

I am a Retired Professor from a State University here in Mankato, Minnesota. My retirement over 11 years ago allowed me to do more projects with my hands. Seat Weaving fulfills my need to work with my hands, keep my mind active & be a benefit to society. I have averaged around 50 pieces per year since my retirement.

My beginnings to chair caning are humble. My father-in-law taught me as, together, we wove two dining chairs for mother-in-law. My wife Denise began finding furniture pieces that continued my learning process. But all I knew was 7 step basic pattern, & there was no one else in the area to learn from.

On a trip to the Amana Colonies in Iowa, we found “the Largest Caned Walnut Rocker” in the world. We also found John & Lillian Peterka’s Ideas for The Experienced Caner #1 & #2. This was Wonderful for me. It opened my eyes to a new world of caning patterns.

 

 

About the same time The Internet was just starting also. My Boss told me to “try something out on this Internet thing to learn it”. So, I combined these two Head Scratchers & put them together. I bought a project chair, took notes of each step to a weaving pattern & took pictures. As I finished the weaving, I then took chair caning & learned how to create the website. www.chair-caning.com

I also produced my own versions of the Chair Caning Patterns Booklets (that are now out of stock due to printing costs).

 

 

 

Then The SeatWeaver’s Guild organized. What a Wonderful Helpful, learning group we have! I have progressed & learned SO MANY MORE Seat Weaving techniques, my mind has continued to desire for more. I have ventured into color & figured out how to spell & create with daisies. This is my interpretation of the Chair Caner American Flag.

 

During my Presentation, we will do hands-on weaving of the Daisies & Buttons pattern. I will provide caning swatches completed through Step 4 & attendees will finish weaving the D&B pattern. Also, we will discuss the creative process for spelling with daisies, & the buttons pattern, ie disassembling the D&B pattern to create other patterns. Come to Wayne’s presentation ready to create Daisies & Buttons!

 

Wayne Sharp Caned by Wayne wayne.sharp1@gmail.com www.chair-caning.com

Mankato, Minnesota

Revontulet Dancers

Revontulet, is a Finnish folk dance group that has been performing for the past 75 years in the U.S. and abroad. Revontulet means The Northern Lights and is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Finnish folk dance traditions. The dances, music and traditional dress are examples of those in use in Finland during the 18th and 19th centuries. Revontulet performs at schools, churches, festivals and museums.

The most important common characteristic of Finnish folk dance is that they have always been social dances, not competitive or show dances. Consequently, they do not contain any acrobatics, showy lifts or jumps. Finland being a peace loving nation, does not have any war dances or sword dances that are so popular in other European nations.

The 1970s brought a real interest in folk dancing in Finland. This renewed interest was due to a revival of national values and cultural history. The Finnish Folklore Association of Helsinki Finland is credited with bringing about interest in this type of dancing throughout the country. There are some 30,000 Finns who folk dance regularly. The interest in dance spread to student and intellectuals who starting collecting old dances and costumes thus rescuing them from oblivion. The FFA has over 5000 folk dancers throughout the country and 30 Finnish Folk Dance Clubs abroad of which Revontulet is one.

If you would like more information about Revontulet: Call Leila Luopa 603-831-0836.

16th Annual Seatweavers’ Guild Gathering

 

SCHEDULE At-A -Glance

FRIDAY

1 pm -7 pm Registration

7 PM Socializing at Brewery

 

SATURDAY

9:30 AM Introduction Doug Lowman, Sue Muldoon, Rhonda Voos

10:00 AM Pat Perkins : Greenwood Windsor Chairmaking

11:30 AM Chris Pera: Regional History

12-1:00 PM Lunch

1:00 Pm Rhonda Voos: Hitchcock Chairs

2:00 PM Jen Cardwell: Heywood Wakefield

3:00 PM Lynn Phillips-Nulicek: Porch Rocker Weaves

4:00 PM Wayne Sharp: Fancy Patterns

ALL DAY: History of Chairs Exhibit

 

6:00 PM Dinner

7:00 PM: Revontulet Finnish Dancers

 

SUNDAY:

9:00 AM: Finnish Breakfast

10:00 AM Business Meeting

11:00 AM Tips and Tricks

1 – 4 PM: SeatWeaving Roadshow

presenters
"Preserving & perpetuating the craft of chair caning and seat weaving!"
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