Seatweaving in New England: A Look Back in Time
Members of The SeatWeavers’ Guild, Inc.® (TSWG), the first and only chair caning guild in North America, will converge in Fitchburg, MA on July 14-16, 2023, for their annual Gathering at The Finnish Center of Saima Park.
Each year the guild selects a different area of the country to hold their Gathering and chooses a unique named theme. Since this year’s Gathering will be held in Massachusetts, the “Furniture Capitol of the World”, located in North Central Massachusetts, in New England the theme is “Seatweaving in New England; A Look Back in Time”
On Saturday, TSWG members from all over the country will hear from local Windsor chairmaker, Pat Perkins about creating his Windsor chairs. A greenwood chairmaker, Pat will be demonstrating techniques and antique-style tools used in his chairmaking. There will also be presentations on the history of the furniture industry in the area, techniques with Hitchcock chairs, Heywood-Wakefield restoration, Porch Rocker weaving and fancy cane patterns. There will be a display of chairs from our members and time to socialize and share seatweaving stories.
The Revontulet Dancers, a Finnish folk dance group will be featured on Saturday evening.
Sunday morning will be our annual meeting followed by a session of tips and tricks to enhance the seat weaver’s enjoyment of this craft. Guild members from around the country will share their expertise on seatweaving.
On Sunday, from 1 pm – 4 pm, the Gathering will open to the public at the “Giant Chair” 130 Elm Street, Gardner,
MA. featuring demonstrations from members with a variety of chair seat weaving techniques along with an exhibit, “Chair Seat Weaving Through the Ages,” showcasing members’ examples of this age-old craft.
These chair caning demonstrations, and the chair exhibit are free and open to the public, perfect for antique dealers, museum staff, art and history buffs, teachers, and anyone interested in this time-honored traditional craft. You can learn more about the skills of our presenters on the schedule page.
For more information about the guild and to become a member of TSWG and register for the Gathering, (by July 1) visit our website at https://seatweaversguild.org.
Membership is open to businesses, cottage industries, hobbyists, students and beginners. If you would like to learn more about seatweaving this is a rare opportunity to get together with weavers of all levels. From beginner to expert, you will find this weekend intriguing.
The SeatWeavers’ Guild, Inc.® formed in 2007, is a 501(c3) organization with its mission, and guiding principle to “Preserve and perpetuate the craft of chair caning and seat weaving through public demonstration and education so it does not truly become a lost art.”