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Lifelong carpentry skills craft ergonomic rocking chair

It was probably inevitable that Paul Lemiski would become a carpenter. In Grade 10 shop class, when his friends were building birdhouses out of scrap lumber, Lemiski made a roll-top desk out of solid oak.

His finesse with wood has only improved with time (he's now 30). His Sculpted Rocking Chair – patterned after an iconic design by mid-century master Sam Maloof – is intricately crafted. The piece takes more than 100 hours to build and incorporates 160 individual pieces of wood, none of which are straight.

Various techniques are used to make the curves. The top of the headrest is coopered like a wine barrel, for example. And the seven-piece, bowed backrest is composed of very thin, laminated strips. Each swerving section is made like the stretched-out blade of a hockey stick. The technique not only results in an eccentric shape, but an ergonomic form that helps with rocking-related shock absorption as well as lower lumbar support.

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