This design was inspired by the engine cowling on a Boeing Dreamliner I saw on the tarmac as I landed in San Francisco after having taught in New Zealand for 9 weeks.  The cowling had these beautiful, graceful arches, called ‘chevrons,’ and they are for noise suppression.

I started the ideation process for the barstool in my typical way — sketching then making quarter-sized models.  Early in my design exploration the legs were made of arches similar to the chevrons.  As I began to explore further and think about how much wood would be required to create those arches I realized that the full arch wasn’t necessary to either the structure of the barstool or the aesthetic I was trying to achieve.  The final design gives me the beautiful arch-like shapes I was after and features the exposed dowel detail at the bottom of the legs that is often found in my work.

I chose to make the first set of stools out of ash.  I knew I wanted to create a textured surface and ash sandblasts beautifully.  I ebonized one stool and bleached the other.  Ebonizing is a process of exposing the wood to two solutions that cause a chemical reaction in the wood cells and turns them a rich black color.  Bleaching is a process that leaches pigment from wood and turns it a bone white color.  I chose two different colors of blue leather to upholster the stools.  This is a bit of a nod to the colors of the ocean that were such a part of my life during my time in New Zealand.

The legs were all hand sculpted to include hardlines and gently rounded planes.  I feel that furniture should be explored as much with the fingers as with the eyes and I find these details provide tactile elements to a piece.

One of the fun aspects of these stools is that my brother fabricated the footrests.  He built a roll former and rolled the stainless steel bar stock to the required radius, drilled the holes for the hardware and put a nice satin finish on the metal.  This was our first collaboration!

I chose Osmo Polyx-Oil in a stain sheen for the final finish.  This European finish is the darling of the finishing world at the moment due to its low VOC content, ease of application and durability.

I have received many compliments on the barstools.  They are quite comfortable and visually engaging, two important requirements!