When completing the last run of Cio Rockers in late November, I had dialed in the production process to such a level that it allowed my mind to run wild with design opportunities within not only the Cio collection but outside of it as well. Serendipitously, we realized we currently have the very first rocking chair I ever made, and the newest, under one roof. What an opportunity for reflection – especially at this time of the year.
My decision to start my woodworking career as a chairmaker came from a realization that I could set up a shop to make chairs for a fraction of what it would cost to set up and build other furniture. Chairmakers built a wide variety of chairs in very primitive shops for centuries, proving that it could done. Because of the rustic nature of my first shop and my desire to learn as our ancestors did, I kept my explorations within this post-and-run form for decades. I did explore variations of this vernacular, but I did not step out of that entirely until about five years ago when I developed Cio (pronounced chee-o: meaning renewal or revival in Latin) as a replacement for all my post-and-run concepts.
I built wooden seated chairs in the Lily and Sonus lines for years and even made traditional Windsor chairs in the 1980’s. Ultimately, I wanted a lighter-weight version of a solid seat. Not knowing where this road would lead, my best guess was it would take three months to design; boy was I wrong.
Today’s rocker (right) and its 40-year-old cousin (left).
I kept hearing this voice that told me it was possible to make a hollow seat that was at least as strong as a solid wood seat and open up a whole new genre of strong and lightweight chair forms. I had initially tethered my portfolio to the ancient concepts. Elevating my designs beyond those concepts required a tremendous commitment of not just my time but of my mind, my body, and my soul.
Cio kept me siloed in the design department off and on for two years. Even though we launched the line in 2018, there has not been a time that I have stopped fine-tuning or re-imagining how to improve the production process. This new concept opened up a whole world of design potential for me. Cio represents the most ergonomic and elegant chair form I have discovered. I am sure the really good stuff is yet to come as we master the use and explore the limitations of the Cio structure.
“Innovation is not just about creating something new, as much as it is about harnessing and building upon things that are tested by time.”
This concept is unique and holds so much potential because we are using plant fibers inside the seat in a structure similar to beetle wings. The ability to form composites out of hemp and linen harkens back at least 3,000 years when Alexander the Great used this idea to create ultralight and strong body armor for his soldiers. This innovation allowed them to travel further than ever while fully protected and opened up new worlds for their domination. Similarly, this same concept integrated into the ancient wisdom of chairmaking has opened up new worlds for me to explore.
Stay tuned for new designs, and join me on this exciting adventure in state-of-the-art chairmaking. May your holiday season be filled with lasting memories you can hold close to your heart for decades.
-The Brian Boggs Chairmaking Team
It’s the end of the year, and we’re looking to make room to start fresh in 2024! Our gallery in Asheville has several items that have been kept in safekeeping while visitors tour the shop or come to choose their favorite chair and walnut slab. Some of those items have been added to a new page that you can view here.
You will find a few table options, sets of chairs and barstools, Sonus guitar chairs, and more. These items will all get extra special TLC (and corresponding customization) before being shipped to you in January. If you have questions, email us at email@example.com
There is an exceptional opportunity to own four Vintage Berea Hickory Barstools circa the early 1990s that we picked up from dear friends and clients while we were in California. They no longer have a bar to accommodate them, so they are looking for a new home.
WESTEDGE: WE CAME, WE SAW, WE WERE INSPIRED
We’re thankful for all of our friends and clients who joined us and for all of our new friends that we made during our four days at the Barker Hangar.
It’s always a joy to introduce our products to new people, both from an educational standpoint and also to see which products are most popular. Our three top performers (pictured below) were our Cala Table in blue, the Cio Rocker in Ambrosia Maple, and our Lily Barstool in “Black Beauty”.