Art Nouveau Chairs

The Ladies Man, by Charles Morey
Scenic Design by Erin Hemming
Ohio University, 2016

Hecor Guimard Research
Hector Guimard Research

The designer requested a third chair be built to match two Art Nouveau chairs we had in our stock, but with arms added. The stock chairs were based off a 1900 Hector Guimard design, but one of the stock chairs had partial carving that needed to be finished.  All subsequent details for the rest of the chairs had to be based around what the original artisan began to ensure the set matched.  I finished the carve on this chair before moving on to the rest of the project. The challenge became striking a balance between making the new chair look like a part of a set with the stock chairs, while also improving its resemblance to the original image.

For the construction of the new chair, I began by tracing the shape of one of the stock chairs. I created a front and side template for the legs, and glued up layers of poplar to cut out the blanks on the band saw. The chair back was doweled before being cut out so it could be properly clamped.

I looked at 1912 Guimard chair as inspiration for how to integrate arms into the chair. I adapted the shape of this 1912 armchair with the design of the stock chairs’ carved details. The height and length of the arms were determined by taking measurements off the rehearsal chair. The final shapes were decided by looking at the pieces on the chair frame itself. A notch was chiseled into the sides of the chair back to naturally integrate the arm into the rest of the chair. Screws were used and capped for the sake of time in the completion of this project. The gaps were filled before it was painted by Vince Salpierto.