Posts Tagged chairs

Gothic Wooden Breakdown Camp Chair – Version 2

2 November 2012

It’s been more than a year since I made my first camp chairs, so Gregor and I went back to the drawing board to make a couple of minor improvements. Changes include a slightly lower back (less weight, less bulk, less “throne-like”), a personalized nameplate, personalized device in the top back, and more precise construction. So far we’ve cut out four chairs and finished one — the prize for Cynnabar’s Grand Tourney tomorrow (see photo below).

Our new gothic camp chair design

For this prize chair, we chose to put “Draco Invictus” on the nameplate and then allow the winner to choose another name for a new plate if s/he wishes.

For the new chair, we also tried a different staining method as we weren’t really pleased with the staining on the last chairs. This chair has a coat of stain (traditional cherry) and a separate coat of polyurethane. We like this better.

The three other chairs are for Gregor, Alexander, and myself, and they are all personalized with our device in the back (horse, crystal, and winged heart respectively) and a plate with our names at the bottom. They are sanded and ready for staining.

These chairs are made of sturdy plywood and break down completely flat. The wood was cut out on a CNC Router ShopBot so everything is precise — this is one of my favorite aspects of this chair. I am happy to share the files I created for the Shopbot– I’ve linked them below. This chair can also be made with a jigsaw hand tool, as I did that with version 1 (and those chairs are still holding up great — I just wanted to make new versions). You can use the PDF or Adobe Illustrator files below to see how to cut the wood out, either by CNC Router or by hand tool.



Saline Celtic Festival: Demonstrating the Gentler Arts of the SCA

9 July 2011

Today my son and I attended the Saline Celtic Festival with other members of the Barony of Cynnabar. Our mission? To demonstrate many of the wonderful aspects and arts of living in the “current middle ages.” I’d been preparing to attend this event for much of the week, finishing off our camp chairs and my new Flemish Gown. I arrived early this morning to set up our chairs — which I’d just finished staining and gilding yesterday — and my large loom showing a tablet-woven band in progress. Here was our little corner of the Cynnabar tent:

Our gothic camp chairs and my large loom

The chairs were WONDERFUL! Easy to put together and take down, they looked great, they felt comfortable, and I received many comments on them. I’m really happy I made them! Oh, and I did make that “cupholder” for Alexander — you can sort of see it in the above photo.

Also “in action” today is my new Flemish Gown. It wore well, and I received many compliments on it. Nothing ripped or fell apart — always a bonus! Only problem is that I really should have lined the kirtle — it just felt too flimsy with one layer of linen. So I’ll be doing that, as I loved it otherwise, and it was a remarkably comfortable outfit. Alas, I was pretty hot in all those layers. If it gets that hot at Pennsic (it was 95°F today), I’ll probably have to wear just the chemise/smock and kirtle, or I’ll exhaust myself from heat early in the trip! Also, I need to make myself a caul (headscarf) to keep my hair up and off my neck — my hair was just making me feel hotter! But thank goodness for that old straw hat I had!

My new Flemish Gown was very comfortable!

I had a great time talking about, demonstrating, and teaching the tablet weaving. Even my son Alexander got in on the action and showed off his “Golden Path of Fire” band to others — in fact, a woman from one of the local news organizations took his photo and name while he was demonstrating his weaving. Maybe he’ll show up in an article or something! Update: Yes, indeed — a photo of both Alexander and I appeared in the article about the Celtic Festival on today! Here we are:

As we appear in's article!

Update 7/13/11: Turns out Alexander made the local news again! Here’s a video posted at — in it you can see Alexander with Alex the Blacksmyth (around 1:04). Cool!


My son in his red linen Bocksten tunic

Speaking of my son, he “bought” me this pretty, sterling silver ring. He spent all of his own spending money on it, and I made up the rest. It was completely his idea. He chose the heart because that’s always been an important symbol between he and I — we draw hearts on notes for each other all the time. He didn’t even know that the Claddaugh ring is traditionally given as a token of love, and that I’ve always wanted one. I haven’t worn rings in years, but I used to love them. I will always cherish this ring from him!

My Claddaugh ring from my son!

All in all, a great day! Notes for my next event …

  • Get my hair up and off my neck
  • Put a ribbon in my hat and tie it under my chin so it doesn’t blow off my head in a breeze
  • Don’t forget my keys when I go to pick up my car at the end of the day! (Oops!)

A Gothic Chair: Making SCA Camp Furniture for Pennsic

23 June 2011

I think this weekend’s project will be to make some Gothic Chairs that come apart and fold flat for transport, like this:


Gothic Arch break-down chair by Master Rhys Terafan Greydragon

They look nice, fit in with our personas, and would appear to be comfy (especially with an added seat cushion). All the plans for them were generously posted by a fellow SCA member at

I will make my chairs from plywood, as he did. I don’t anticipate any problems, with one exception — the mortices! On my trestle table I had to make 8 and it was zero fun … each of these chairs has 12! TWELVE! Ugh. Still, these are the best looking chairs I see, so I shall try anyway.