We are Windsor chair makers trained at The Windsor Institute and taught by Mike Dunbar in Hampton, New Hampshire. My wife Caron and I make colonial Windsor chairs by hand, just the way they were made 275 years ago, keeping with tradition of the early crafters of that time.
Caron paints all the chairs herself with two coats of Old Fashioned Milk Paint which is non-toxic when dried, biodegradable and lead free, making it safe for children, pets and the environment. The chairs are then hand rubbed with boiled linseed oil that seals in the painted surface which will mellow in time to a beautiful patina.
We construct all our chairs with up to four types of wood: white pine for the seat, hickory or hard maple for the legs and stretchers, red oak for the arms, bows, spindles and crest when required. Other types of wood can be used if a customer requests it.
All crest, arms and bows are steam bent and wedged together without the use of nails or screws, resulting in a perfectly tight fit, ensuring a lasting piece of furniture.
Ralph and Caron have been chosen by "Early American Life" magazine as one of the Top 200 Traditional American Craftsmen every year since 2004. They were chosen as one of three artisans from the Top 200 in 2005 to receive the First Heritage Artisan Award. This award is given to an artisan when all 19 judges agree that their work is of museum quality.
Ralph and Caron both create, by hand, several different styles of Windsor chairs and 18th century colonial style items such as spoon racks, pipe and candle boxes and Shaker peg racks used in homes at the time. Handmade jewelry and other items are also available, made by Caron and Dawn.