Windsor chairs are mostly only thought of today in the context of standard pub furniture or reliably robust kitchen seating. Industrial production has all but hidden the essential nature of the hand crafted Windsor that was much in demand for its practical elegance and simplicity on both sides of the Atlantic in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Today there are comparatively few professional chairmakers who specialise in designing and making this type of chair by hand and passing on their skills and knowledge to others. However James Mursell is one of these and he has distilled much of his wide experience into this book. As the title suggests the emphasis is on 'making' and there are detailed plans for four types of Windsors supported by practical instructions, hints and tips. These are accompanied by excellent photographs illustrating the techniques that James uses and encourages readers to try for themselves.
However this is more than just a 'recipe book'. As well as a brief historical overview of the development of the Windsor chair in America and the UK, there is a section devoted to a detailed analysis of what can be learnt from careful examination of a superb 18th century armchair. Another chapter gives an introduction to the implications of Windsor chair design.
This comprehensive and helpful book reflects James' gifts as a craftsman, a teacher and an all round enthusiast for this style of furniture.