Chair Music

Tutor: Franco Marinelli

This chair has a bit of a story. It belonged originally to my partner’s great-great grandfather. My partner’s father, Harry always used it as his chair. The chair now belongs to my partner’s mother, Frances.

Their good friend, composer Graham Williams wrote a wonderful piece commemorating Harry’s life and we went to hear it at the Purcell Rooms at the Southbank Centre in London. Some years later, Frances received a postcard from Graham with this message on the back. The idea for how to tackle the design of the chair was born.

Photo: original Chair Music by composer Graham Williams

The original postcard and starting point of inspiration sent by composer Graham Williams with a line of music entitled ‘Chair Music’

It had been upholstered in brown draylon and the springing had gone. Unfortunately I lost the early pictures of the chair, here’s the earliest one I have taken during deconstruction.

Photo: early C19th chair with most of the upholstery removed

The earliest ‘before’ photo I have of Chair Music

It was all traditionally reupholstered.

It was covered in a very fine velvet on the seat, arms and inside back. I chose cathedral buttoning for the back where it had previously been plain.

Photo: Chair Music - side view

Chair Music – side view

Photo: back view of Chair Music

Back view of Chair Music

On the back, I used a digitally printed fabric which I designed using Graham’s composition message repeated in different sizes – with Graham’s express permission, of course. Thank you, Graham, I am much indebted to you!

And here’s the chair at home, with a matching cushion cover. I made a second and gave it to Graham as a thank you for letting me use his work. He has it in his study.

Photo: Chair Music with matching cushion

Chair Music with matching cushion