Charles Rohlfs Oak Rocking Chair Article - Candian Woodworking and Home Improvement Magazine

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Woodbridge posted 09-09-2015 09:50 PM 1768 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The current edition (Oct/Nov 2015) of Canadian Woodworking and Home Improvement (CWHI) magazine includes my most recent woodworking article “Build a Charles Rohlfs Rocking Chair”.

I’ve built two of these rockers and previously posted them here and here.

Most people are familiar with Arts and Crafts era furniture makers such as Morris, Stickley and Greene. Their furniture has been widely reproduced . Charles Rohlfs has not received the same popular notoriety.

Rohlfs was born in Brooklyn on 1853. He was trained as a designer and draftsman and spent the early part of his career designing cast iron stoves and dabbling in theatre. After marrying, he and his wife, detective novelist Anna Katherine Green, established their home in Buffalo New York. Like many of us who begin woodworking, Rohlfs couldn’t afford to by quality furniture and began to design and build furniture for his home and then professionally.

His work contains many elements of arts and crafts furniture, but is set apart by its unique design, shapes, artistic ornamentation and carving details. Writers have described Rohlfs furniture as artistic, complex, eclectic and eccentric. His furniture is rare and Rohlfs works are highly valued at auction.

Rohlfs Oak Rocker, first built in 1898, is a mix of arts and crafts and Asian styles. Only one original rocker is known to exist. Until recently it has been in a private collection but is now on display at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens (near Pasadena California.)

For that last few years I have worked to recreate many of Rohlfs iconic furniture pieces. I have corresponded with museum curators and travelled to several museums across the U.S. to study and photograph his work. I had an opportunity to see the original Rohlfs rocker last year while in California.

My recreation of Rohlfs’ Rocker was made from repurposed oak timbers rescued from a fire pile.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

4 comments so far

View DocSavage45's profile


8881 posts in 3447 days

#1 posted 09-10-2015 02:31 AM

Yippe Skippee!

It’s Peter the artisan. Writer,Artist, and Master Craftsman. Congratulations on the articles!

Saw the email while at work. Just booted up the computer.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View CC's profile


21 posts in 2437 days

#2 posted 09-10-2015 12:54 PM

Wonderful Peter. Congratulations on a great article.
Looking forward to many more from you.

-- CC, King City, Ontario

View kiefer's profile


5713 posts in 3272 days

#3 posted 09-10-2015 10:56 PM

That is great to see your article published Peter and should give you a sense of pride and accomplishment .
I will have to check out the magazine article .


-- Kiefer

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3939 days

#4 posted 09-11-2015 08:05 PM

A real beauty Peter and congratulations on getting your work published.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics