Make a Traditional Appalachian Willow Chair with Justin Roberts

Justin Roberts will be teaching traditional Appalachian Willow Chair making in April, Sign up now! Space is limited.

Join us for two classes (April 6-7 or April 8-9) with guest instructor Justin Roberts

Last summer we met Justin at the Furniture Society’s Annual Conference in Milwaukee. (It’s going to be in Asheville June 17-20, 2020!!!) We were excited to spread the love of woven chairs to a distinguished audience of fellow nerds and we were really excited to meet Justin Roberts. I’ve always wanted to do this type of chair, ever since seeing it at The Art of Seating Exhibit.

You can also make tables and sculptures with Willow as Justin Demonstrated at the Furniture Society Conference in 2019

Willow has been used for millennia for medicine, structures, and of course, shade! The class comes with a lecture on the diversity of this amazing tree.

Of all the fancy chairs in the exhibit, the Appalachian Willow Chair with its seemingly rustic appearance was actually quite elegant. Its maker was anonymous but it was important enough to be included in an exhibit of 200 years of American Chairs alongside Bertoia, Hunzinger, Gehry, Eames, Wright, and Stickley. With these chairs, you don’t have to worry about staining $200/yard silk, nor do you have to consider all of the machinery and resources involved in factory made chairs. I decided that I needed to learn this but it’s so rare, that even I didn’t know where to start looking. Of course, the chair gods were kind to me, especially during our 2019 US Chair Caning Tour. Justin did a lecture and demo at the 2019 Furniture Society Conference.

Justin and Shannon Roberts are willow experts and co-owners of Walk The Willow in Murray, Kentucky. Justin is a Kentucky Crafted Artist and 2019 Regional Bernheim Artist in Residence. Learn about the history, uses and process of the craft through this engaging process. You leave with your own willow chair! Bring a hammer, hand pruners, and work gloves. No experience is necessary. The classes are from 10-5 each day, $350/person. Space is limited. Discounts don’t apply due to the labor intensive nature of the harvesting, the travel expenses, etc.

Sign up here:

For more information about Justin and willow chairs and sculptures:

Follow them on Instagram.

Check out their epic public art willow sculptures and bird habitats including “Sounds of a Whippoorwill – Bernheim” and “Sounds of a Whippoorwill – Josephine,” and “Choices @ Calloway County Public Library” in Kentucky.

Enjoy these videos and we we will see you in April!

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