Sam Maloof Inspired Rocking Chair

How the quilted rocking chair came to be made by this custom furniture maker.

This quilted rocking chair is a unique piece of wood furniture and comes from the idea that wood figure* is the medium of the wood artist. Sam Maloof did it best but this rocker is inspired by Sam.

(*The figure of a wood refers to the pattern caused by color differences in the wood. The figure is also the pattern created by different types of grain.)

Instead of looking for just the right tree, the idea occurred to use different woods to create a pallet of color. In looking for unique qualities to make a chair stand out, and really be, one of a kind, the idea further developed to use the end grain of the different woods. End grain is tough, doesn't shred or cut easily, so would endure the wear it takes over the years.

This particular chair is made with choice pieces of Cherry and Maple. The pattern is developed by gluing up strips of wood then cutting them, then rearranging them and gluing them up again, only to repeat the process again and again.

The shaping of the seat and the headcrest are made more difficult by the end grain being the useable surface. Sculpting these is very labor intensive. Various planes, blades and rasps are used to rough in the shapes, followed by 24 grit sandpaper to smooth the rough shape, and then increasing the grit by no more than 50 grits each time and sanding at each level to remove the scratches from the earlier level, on up to 220 grit.

All the curves are done by hand and are faired using the above process.

Once the surfaces are smoothed and faired the finish is completed with steel wool and finalized by rubbing with a towel. Then a number of coats of hand rubbed oil to produce an even luster and to provide base protection. Finally two coats of hand rubbed wax are laid on.

A perfect piece of wood art furniture for the nursery, the living room or the den.

Dimensions: Approximately 25" x 40"

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