John Brown
There is little question here that John Brown found an inner peace in chairmaking and we dare say he enjoyed a level of happiness in his work that few truly find. His column in early 2001 championed woodworking for beating stress. And while his copy offered a typically eclectic mix of anecdote and empiricism, it was in a small aside titled ‘A chairmaker’s notes’ that John Brown revealed (not for the first time) his tactile if not to say spiritual connection with his craft. He appeared to be marking his zenith in chairmaking.

When I had completed the chair I sat down and looked at it. I always have a notepad nearby, and I felt I had to capture the moment. Here’s for what it’s worth is what I wrote.

Perhaps if I live a little longer I will develop greater skills

“This big chair was completed on December 9th, a Friday. It is as good as I can do. Perhaps if I live a while longer and work, I will develop greater skills. My mystic self tells me that everything is just right, the angles and lengths of the parts seem to be in harmony.

“This chair marks the recovery of my powers. I have no pain of discomfort, my mind is active. My lighted candle and the flooded fields around me seem to balance my mind and spirit. I know I can work and make a good chair, nothing else matters and I am stress free.”