Summer 2019 was very kind to us. We visited Dave’s Aunt Kathy this summer on our way to/from the Furniture Society Annual Conference in Milwaukee in June. Of course she had some cool chairs woven with rawhide at her farm house. She got them in Michigan. Barbara Walker (of the funkiest chair in our shop post) brought her snowshoe chair and snowshoes in when we did our chair collaboration.
I’m betting our neolithic relatives may have made some of these back in the day. And of course, Native Americans, using every part of the animal for food, clothing, and shelter.
There are a couple of companies in the US responsible for these beautiful chairs, tables, hassocks, and of course, snowshoes: Vermont Tubbs produced this furniture for 170 years (but went out of business in 2013). Here is a good blog post about them. Iverson Snowshoe Company in Upper Peninsula, Michigan, still in business after 60 years. And Coos Canoe & Snowshoes in New Hampshire.
Just do a google search for more images. They’re really all over the place when you start to look. The Caner’s Handbook has instructions for weaving chairs with rawhide. It’s slimy and gooey and you need two people but it is really cool to reconnect with your ancestors in such a way. Not recommended for vegetarians. Wouldn’t want to do this all the time. Definitely need to vacuum up the dog hair from your shop before weaving.