Chad Jones is a retired locomotive engineer and woodworker who builds stylistic furniture, particularly Windsor and Maloof style chairs. Fascinated by furniture design and excited by hands-on creation, Chad has turned his passion into a profession as he creates custom pieces for sale and teaches his artistry to others. “I may not be able to draw a stick figure, but I can build chairs and that makes me feel artistic,” says Chad, whose life-long passion for woodworking began when he was just seven years old. His first piece was a birdcage – built with his dad’s tools and hung in the corner of his bedroom – and was the beginning of his fascination with building and creating. Since then he’s fabricated everything from bowls and mugs to tables and cabinets, and even built his own home with the help of his father. Now through his woodworking business, “Knotty Alder,” Chad has honed his focus to furniture making with a specific focus on Windsor style chairs.
Named for the English town of Windsor where it is thought to have originated in the early 1700s, the Windsor chair is made of curved spindles and has a slightly reclined, rounded back. It is constructed mostly from hand tools, which is what attracted Jones to the style. The process for creating a Windsor chair begins with a large wooden log that is split into parts, steamed and shaped. Working in the traditional style, Chad uses a shaving horse to make the chair’s spindles and a lathe to turn the legs. The final piece is typically painted or stained for uniformity – becoming a handcrafted, functional work of art. One of his most sought after styles is the “Nanny Rocker,” a complicated and artistic Windsor chair design that includes a baby cradle extension.
What satisfies Chad even more than creating a Windsor chair is teaching others how to build it themselves. In one of his woodworking sessions, students begin with large blocks of wood and leave with a completed Windsor that is ready to be painted or finished. His studio at The Monarch will be education-based as Jones intends to regularly host classes and workshops in the space. Visit Chad Jones in The Monarch studios this summer to sign up for a class or order a custom piece. Until then, contact him from the links below and view more designs on his website.