Sunday, August 16, 2009

squatter's chair

Before returning to the States in 1989, I purchased a squatter’s chair in Australia at a country furniture store outside of Sydney, on the road leading west to the Blue Mountains. Like the photo here, the jarrah wood was rust colored and luminous. The person who sold me the chair advised me never to oil or stain the wood, but rather allow it to weather naturally. This chair sits on my daughter’s back deck today and the wood is beautiful gray. When I see the chair, I remember one like it on the porch of my friend Bill’s house in Dunedoo, NSW. Bill’s version had a carved indentation on the armrest suitable for a cold, filled beer can. Bill had a sheep station of 15,000 acres. His squatter’s chair, similar to this one, was build by his grandfather from jarrah wood that he used for station fence posts. Jarrah, sometimes called Swan River Mahagony, is a very hard wood that withstands the nibbles of termites. As a going away gift, Bill had someone make a box, carved from the top six inches of one of his jarrah fenceposts…

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