Pegs & Legs

High Chair: Making the Thos. Moser Continuous Arm Chair

June 1, 2011 Features By Photo by EY

In a world of IKEA and other discount furniture, companies like Thos. Moser are a true rarity. Increasingly far and few between, Moser is an establishments that earns its right to use overly used declarations like legacy, craftsmanship and heritage. To say that painstaking work is underway at their workshop is an understatement. Their nearly 100 woodworkers are either self-learned or taught by last-century artisans who have always built by hand before it was fashionable to do so. Each piece is an exercise in permanence learned through dissection of other antiques exhibiting age-old techniques and designs that take into account every last detail, right down to the effect of humidity on wood.

Primarily made of 75 to 125 year old cherry trees sourced from Pennsylvania’s Allegheny Plateau (yes, sustainably harvested) Thos. Moser furniture is guaranteed for the lifetime of its owner. Though the company is just 30 years old, the brand was created without any formalities of a business (e.g. business plan, products or marketing). Moser, a former Bates College professor, left his profession in 1972, with the goal of creating heirloom-quality furniture by melding traditional design, hand construction and solid wood.

We stepped back into the Thos Moser world with our camera to photograph one of their signature pieces, the Thos Moser Continuous Arm Chair ($1325), come to life. The chair is a perfect example of trademarked Moser design — its keystone feature, the arms, use eleven 1/10″ thick knife-cut slices from the same board laminated together to create its arm. Earnest details like this permeate the entire chair’s construction.

Our pictures don’t do the process justice, but peruse the pictorial below.

More info at Thos. Moser.

Photos by Eric Yang