Designer’s Alphabet, K is for ……………

Drawing based on a Klismos chair by

Klismos chair by Philip C. Lowe, drawing by author.

durer-latin-kis for Klismos chair.  This form leaps right out of antiquity, yet because of it’s clean lines and flowing curves, it’s been reworked and re-adapted countless times. No physical chairs from antiquity survive, but we have numerous examples depicted on painted pottery and stone relief carvings dating back as far as the 5th century B.C. The excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum in the 18th century shed light on the form as discoveries fueled the Greek revival style that swept England and America in the late 18th and early 19th Century.

Stone relief carving depicting a Klismos chair form.

Stone relief carving depicting a Klismos chair form.

The challenge when interpreting an iconic form like the Klismos chair is to find that tone or pitch that sings. Here’s a link to the Furniture Institute of Massachusetts where Philip C. Lowe built the example shown in my drawing above. You can scroll down through the page of chair plans to find a couple of stunning examples of the chair form. Here’s another view of his stunning Klismos chair.

George R. Walker

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About walkerg

Woodworker and writer
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