Silver River is a 4,000 year old Chinese legend about a weaver goddess who wove the stars and light into the Silver River, or Milky Way, as it is known in our culture.
When we rebranded and expanded from restorations and informal classes to the nation’s only chair caning school and museum, we wanted a name that elevated the craft. An elegant name that paid homage to the ancient culture from which it originated. Most of the chairs that come through our shop have a family history. We hear the unique story of the chair and by re-telling the story and restoring the chair, the chair takes on a life of its own, a legend. We hope that Silver River Center for Chair Caning will succeed in perpetuating the craft for at least another 4,000 years.
In one version of the legend, the Weaver Goddess came down to earth and fell in love with a cow herder. When the Celestial Queen Mother (also called the Jade Empress) called her back to heaven, she pulled out a silver hair pin and drew a line (the Silver River) between the two lovers. They can only be reunited on the seventh day of the seventh month, called QiXi. All of the magpies on Earth fly up to heaven and create a bridge for the Weaver Goddess to cross. The QiXi festival is celebrated throughout most of Asia, and is sometimes referred to as the Chinese Valentines Day. Coincidentally, it happens to be the day that a couple of chair nerds got hitched.
Read more about QiXi: