I specialize in ladder-back or post-and-rung chairs, with the same deep rural roots that live in my soul. I also took up spoon carving, using hand-selected crooks or bends of certain trees to carve spoons and ladles which only grow more beautiful with use and age.
I work with locally cut veneer-quality red oak logs that I split apart or rive to get the straight grain wood I need for strong chair parts. All of my chairs have steam-bent back legs and slats for comfort.
Every piece I create has a spoke-shaven or hand-tooled finish. I use the traditional method of wet/dry joinery to hold my chairs together, where I super-dry the rungs before cutting a precise tenon on each end to fit in mortises in the air-dried legs. Then, over time, the legs continue to dry and shrink onto the super-dried tenons, ensuring a long life for the chair.
I weave each chair's seat bottom with hickory bark or similar material, or carve a solid hardwood seat. Each piece has been lovingly rubbed by hand with three or four coats of oil – a recipe I mix myself.
I have an appreciation for an honest day’s work, traditional craftsmanship, and well-made everyday items. This is the way chairs were made when people knew how to make chairs, not just order them from a fancy catalog. I make every piece with my own two hands, leaving behind my unique fingerprint, and a little piece of my heart.
Matthew Comer, Woodcrafter