Welcome to the Silver River Center for Chair Caning. We encourage everyone to learn to repair their own chairs. Whether you just want to fix a family heirloom or you are a furniture restorer wanting to expand your skills, we offer many levels of classes.
>> Visit our SHOP page to register for upcoming workshops and classes.
Ways to Learn:
- Sign up for a class. Caning is an umbrella term which includes at least 8 types of weaving. We teach 5 types of weaving in a structured class. Within each type of caning, there are at least two different classes (learn on a kit, learn on a chair, take a tutorial).
- Apply for an internship. Spend three months falling down the chair caning rabbit hole, get lots of perks and expand your knowledge.
- Volunteer: You can earn credit toward your chair caning class cost by volunteering at Silver River Center for Chair Caning.
- Chair Caning Boot Camp: Get the 5-class package save $150.
It is very gratifying to learn this ancient and global craft and to restore a functional piece of history, whether it is great-granddad’s handmade rocker or a really cool Mid-Century chair you just found for a steal!
Types of Classes
- Hand Woven Cane (also called Laced or French Cane)
- Machine Cane (also called Pressed or Sheet Cane)
- Rush Weaving
- Splint Weaving
- Shaker Tape Weaving
- Individual Tutorials are offered for ALL types of caning and weaving at $20/half-hour. This is your best option if you need help on a project without taking a full class or if you have an advanced project that exceeds the scope of our classroom work. We will give you our undivided attention and cater to your specific needs. By appointment only! Call 828-707-4553 to schedule.
**Chair caning can be physically demanding work. If you have a bad back, shoulders, or hands, please let us repair your chair for you. Please wait until any injuries have healed before taking a chair caning class.
The following is important information for ALL CLASSES!
Parking is on site and also just down from the studio in the grassy overflow parking lot behind #12 Riverside.
Comfortable clothing and shoes. We teach standing on anti-fatigue mats but you can also sit down. You are working with fibrous plant materials and sharp tools that may pick clothing. We have great heat in the winter but do not have AC for the summer. Dress accordingly.
If you live out of town and can’t make it to a pre-requisite class, we understand and will try to help you over the phone, via email and photos, as much as possible. You will need measuring tape. It may require that you remove your own seat. We will help you measure properly so we can get the right material for your chair.
A signed waiver is required for participation in any of our workshops.
Our golden retriever Rosie loves to come to work but generally doesn’t come in on a busy class day. If you are allergic, please let us know so we can clean the shop really well.
Bathrooms are on-site. Bring your own lunch or snacks and store it in our refrigerator, or purchase from local River Arts District Restaurants. We will provide a list of restaurants and coffee shops and their menus for you before class upon request. We have all plates/napkins/utensils/cups/water/tea available for you.
You do not need to bring tools to class. We will give you a list of tools needed for your class. You may check out our tools for homework assignments (with a cash deposit or credit card number and signed permission that we can charge that number if you lose or break our tools).
If you have your own cane/rush/reed, and it has passed our inspection, we will discount your class cost in the amount of your materials. Please save the receipt. With Shaker tape classes and for individual tutorials, you provide your own materials. We provide a list of caning suppliers for future projects.
We will give a $25 discount on each class that you take after the first one. If you bring a friend, you get $25 off. Buy a 5 class package and save $150.
If you have financial need and are willing to work for us for trade of class cost, we will consider based on each situation.
Classes require a 5o% deposit in advance to hold your space. You will get a full refund if we have 48 hours notice before cancellation. 24 hours notice of cancellation results in a 50% of deposit returned (exclusions may be considered based on situation). No show/no reschedule…full deposit kept. Rescheduling for classes allowed at $25/class in some circumstances.
If you don’t have a chair to learn on, we can pick one up for you at cost. Please let us know ahead of time so we can find your chair.
- Bring in your chair a week in advance so we can inspect if for structure issues.
- Structural Repair must be done before you install the seat.
- Refinishing of the chair should be done before you weave the seat.
- Save your old seat if you want to match a specific material/pattern/color.