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Featured Windsor Chairmaker
Jonathon (Jock) Jones

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Jonathon (Jock) Jones, Windsor chairmaker
Jonathan (Jock) Jones is probably the only Windsor chair maker in the Intermountain West. He and his wife, Bonnie live in Spring City, a small village in Central Utah where he makes chairs in his small one person shop and teaches chair making in his shop and at a nearby college.

Jock had been a hobbyist wood worker most of his life and says he had always been fascinated with Windsor chairs. But their construction was baffling. Everything on them is round and curvy. There is bent wood. The seats are deeply carved and saddled. They are a plethora of complicated compound angles. There are no flat surfaces or 90 degree angles. There are no reference points from which to measure. With his limited knowledge of woodworking he was puzzled about how you make things that are not square and flat with dozens of compound angle holes and bent wood? Jock says: "Windsor chair construction was a mysterious, unfathomable, arcane craft that was not practiced anymore. There were few books or articles about them and the ones that did exist scared me off. They were full of long dissertations about green wood joinery and duck bill mortises and other peculiar and unfathomable mysteries.

There were pictures of old guys sitting in the woods on worn out shaving horses building chair parts with a spoke shave.  No power tools! I was fascinated, intimidated and discouraged because I live in the west where there were no chair builders and few if any one knew how to build them. In addition, green wood (oak, hickory, maple etc.) is simply not available……Windsor chair making is an Eastern sport.".
Jock Jones Windsor chair
But then a fateful but serendipitous event happened. Both Jock and his wife were forced into early and unwanted retirement due to a corporate mergers and health issues. So they decided to travel to the East and learn how to make Windsor chairs.

That was the first time he had ever seen a good hand made Windsor chair. Jock exclaims: "My oh my what chairs! I had no idea how light weight, delicate and beautiful they were. They were not lifeless, heavy and clunky like factory made chairs. They had character. They were alive. They were sensual. They invited you to caress them. They beckoned you to sit in them. They appeared as though you could dance around the room with them. They were not immovable ponderous dead things planted on the floor. They were up on their toes ready to pirouette, boogie woogie or allemande left as soon as the music started!

Jock Jones Windsor Chair

Jock Jones Windsor settee

His fascination with Windsor chairs turned into a passionate love affair. He fell in love with the design and construction process. He learned they are not difficult to make. He quickly learned that chair making is not an unfathomable arcane craft known only to a few. Green wood is available for those willing to travel east to obtain it. Making round things with no flat surfaces and dozens of compound angle holes is not an old fashioned outdated craft. Steam bending wood is simple and within the reach of anyone with a desire to do so. Carving spindles and chair parts with nothing more than a drawknife and spoke shave while sitting on a shaving horse is far easier and more enjoyable than setting up complicated jigs to carve wood with a noisy, dusty and dangerous power tools.

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Jock Jones Windsor chair detail
So Jock and Bonnie returned to Utah, sold their house in the Salt Lake area and bought a 100 year old farm house in historic Spring City, Utah where he built his dream shop and they started their post retirement life anew making wonderful, delicate Windsor chairs.
Jock Jones Windsor chair detail

View more of Jock's work, on his website: http://www.jockswindsors.com

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Jock Jones Windsor chair

Contact:
Jock Jones Classic Windsor Chairs
http://www.jockswindsors.com

P.O. Box 117
Spring City, Utah
Phone: 801-915-2015
Email: jjones@jockswindsors.com

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