Bayview Escarpment

Updating paysanne stool proportions

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My clients came across this great snowshoe weave paysanne stool, a traditional Québecois design, but the proportions were a little off for their needs. So, we took the existing stool, added 2″ to the seat’s width and 1″ to its depth then raised the footrest by about 1 1/2″. The seat was then lowered to better fit the counter it is destined to serve. Those adjustments, although seemingly small, completely change the proportions and feel of the piece.

Four stools, endless parts

The number four does not sound large, but four paysanne stools require a lot of parts. There are 11 spindles per stool plus the four legs and two back rest parts (they were still in the kiln from steam bending when I took this photo).

Full scale drawing

When I make a piece that incorporates curved parts – invariably chairs
and benches – I always find it useful to make a full sized drawing. This
allows me to measure holes and angles very precisely and to work out
any problems before I start cutting.


Now that the stools are glued I can refine a few elements and then prepare them for the finish. First I will dye them jet black followed by a coat of black milk paint, sanded out and top coated with Fort York Red milk paint. Once dry and rubbed out I will apply a sealant and, finally, the raw hide snowshoe weaving for the seat. Once the raw hide has dried I will seal that with its own coat of varnish. Not your typical stools!

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