Gragg: Not Just A Chair, But Kindling and Tinder Too!

As the Gragg Chair(s) project progresses (two being built on commission, a third for myself as an experiment in porch furniture) I was noticing recently that it is not simply an opportunity to make (and video record the making of) a challenging and iconic piece of the American design pantheon.  It is also a means of building the inventory of kindling and tinder that becomes part of everyday life during the alpine winters at The Homestead on White Run.  The wood stove will likely be lit in the evenings in another six weeks, and get its final seasonal clean-out next April or May.  That’s a lot of tinder.

With every stick that goes into the chairs there is an equal amount of material split, shaved, or planed away.  I faithfully break down the stick-sized material into kindling and box that up, and the tinder, so vital to reviving the fire in the wood stove every morning, winds up in large trash bags.  All of this goes into storage in the lower barn to be used as needed.  Each chair produces about three bags of tinder and a box of kindling.  Some day I will mock up all the individual elements to see how much finished stock it actually takes.  I’m guessing about as much as a single 2×6.