Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Rocking Chairs I Love: Robert Erickson Edition

I learned about Robert Erickson from a 1991 article on rocking chairs in the Atlantic Monthly which declared, "[p]erhaps the highest nexus of art and ergonomics is the Erickson chair." Robert Erickson's rocking chairs, like his other chairs and furniture, are well considered in every detail. For anyone interested in making chairs or, more broadly, interested in what should go into a chair, his essay on the handmade ergonomic chair is a must-read. Erickson is admittedly not a back expert, but he is a good listener. That ability -- or willingness, since everyone has the ability to be a good listener whether you practice it or not -- informs his always-evolving approach to making chairs and furniture. If you are a good listener, you are a good learner and that's what it takes to be innovative and always passionate about your work -- whatever it is.

One of Erickson's great innovations is his "floating back" lumbar support. Something he's been refining in hundreds of chairs since 1974, his floating back design incorporates "taut yet contoured and bendable slats" that give your back support right where it needs it. Regarding the sculpted seats of his chairs, Erickson models them off the seats of old John Deere tractors. It's all about the ischial tuberosities -- what we know as our "sit bones."

His Cloudlift Rocker, below, features the motif made famous by Greene and Greene and also shows the floating back in contrasting wood.

Check out his rocking chairs and the rest of his line of beautiful furniture at www.ericksonwoodworking.com.

1 Comment:

David said...

I've purchased many of Bob's chairs, and they are extremely comfortable. I've fallen asleep in them, we eat in them, and they show almost no wear--all the joints are very much as they were when first assembled.