How did you get started in the chair caning business
Sat Mar 8, 2014 11:30am
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It was my sister-in-law's fault. She signed up for a class at John C. Campbell Folk School and invited me to go along with her. I'd been retired about two years and was in need of finding something to do "to keep me out of trouble."

I've always enjoyed working with my hands. I wanted to learn basket weaving but there wasn't a class that week. However, there was a seat weaving class. I had several old chairs that needed re-seating so I decided I would enroll in the seat weaving class and make the chairs useful again. I'd pursue basket weaving later on.

Once my family and friends heard what I was going to learn, they loaded me up with chairs to practice with. I had so many of their chairs I didn't take mine to class.

WOW! I loved the class! Seat weaving, like knitting, made sense to me.

I had a great instructor, Jo Rusin, who encouraged me to keep weaving. And I did.

I told my husband, I'd try seat weaving for a year and if I still liked it in a year, I wanted to convert my garage bay into a seat weaving studio. It took longer than a year to convert the garage but I kept weaving.

I discovered I love the challenge of of making a chair useful again. I love learning a new technique and seeing the weave pattern form from my efforts. I love having someone value my skills and pay me for it! And, there's nothing like working for myself...no time clocks, no politics and only one person to supervise.

I'm fortunate that I was able to retire with a decent pension. I don't need to make a living as a seat weaver but the part time income I earn, working at a craft I love, is more meaningful and satisfying than any other job I've ever had.

Mary Christenbury
Huntersville, NC

  • How did ya'll get into this wonderful craft/business of chair caning, anyway? Please post your story. Most of you already know my entry into the field, but I'll post it again here anyway for those of ... more
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      • how did you get started? ediezalas, Fri Aug 11 9:13am
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      • How did you all get started? jbmeltzer, Fri Aug 11 8:43am
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      • How I got started Anderson's Restorations-Rob, Fri Aug 11 7:08am
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    • Picture with me, a cold, snowy January Saturday in 1975 ( 3 months after discharge from the US Army). Barbara and I have just completed the 2 hour drive to the home of her grandparents. For our chair ... more
    • how i got started f.david, Tue Mar 25 9:56am
      Well I have been caning for around 7 years and I do enjoy it. I am not to proud of where I learned, I got into some trouble with the law about 10 years ago and did some time in the NH state prison... more
      • Re: how i got started The Wicker Woman, Tue Mar 25 10:22am
        Hi Dave, Welcome to the Chair Caning Forum! It doesn't matter what the circumstances were regarding your learning of the craft, but rather that you learned it and have been making something good come ... more
        • thx f.david, Tue Mar 25 10:49am
          Thx for the kind words and advice. Dave
    • A Newby From Philly :) hannahbardinfurniture, Mon Mar 24 11:32am
      Hello, Chair Caning Forum! I'm new, and just got on the site to ask my first question when I saw this thread and thought it would be the best place to insert an introduction. I have actually been... more
      • Re: A Newby From Philly :) The Wicker Woman, Mon Mar 24 7:57pm
        Hi there Hannah, So glad you finally introduced yourself here! Hannah and I had a nice long talk on the phone a few months ago and I was so hoping she'd find us here and become a part of this... more
        • Newby from Philly Janet Noall, Tue Mar 25 9:10am
          Hannah, You are just plain AWESOME ! Jan N
      • Re: A Newby From Philly :) ABQLaurie, Mon Mar 24 12:52pm
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    • How I got started bworrad13, Fri Mar 21 10:53am
      Hello all! I'm Bruce Worrad in West Central New Hampshire. I'm 64 yrs old and have been doing seatwork since I was 25 years old. This is my first post, but have been following this forum since almost ... more
      • How I got Started Mary M Christenbury, Sat Mar 22 10:22am
        Hi Bruce, Please email me directly with your contact info. I may have some seat weaving work for you. Long story. Regards, Mary Christenbury Huntersville, NC Macama@bellsouth.net
      • How I got started Janet Noall, Sat Mar 22 9:15am
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    • just fell into it johnk15, Sat Mar 8 9:38pm
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    • How did I get started in chair caning? chrperson, Sat Mar 8 4:01pm
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    • How did you get started in the chair caning business Mary M Christenbury, Sat Mar 8 11:30am
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