The Chair Clinic – 11B

The Chair Clinic, beginning in 1978, was a father and daughter collaboration. In the early years, Jan, and her father, Donald T. Bennett Sr, could often be seen working side by side as they rewove the seats of customers chairs, using the natural materials of cane, rush, reed, shaker tape or Danish cord. In his later years, Don was often seen at special Arts Center events where he enjoyed being a friendly, welcoming, and story-telling host. Don passed away in 2011 at 98 years of age.

Don was Jan’s teacher, coaching the professional techniques of the seatweaving craft that were taught to him by his father, Merton E. Bennett, a Master Craftsman. In Merton’s era, 
the business began in 1910, the focus of the business was restoring wicker baby carriages, called go-carts. His wife, Alberta, worked re-upholstering the interior of the carriages, and Merton would restore the wicker, and replace the hard rubber on the wheels. Gradually, as wicker go-carts and baby carriages fell out of vogue, reweaving chair seats and selling materials became the focus of the business. Jan carries on the family tradition of providing high quality and traditional techniques of the craft, a service the Bennett family has been offering for over 100 years!

Please stop in to visit the studio and be sure to ask about classes if you are interested in the craft!
Studio 11B

Phone: 860-677-8272




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