Douglas Starry

Douglas Starry

Starry’s Woodshop
Gettysburg, PA

I didn’t know that I wanted to be a chairmaker. Certainly, as a twelve-year-old, I was more interested in playing than working in the woodshop with my Father. However, I found myself as an apprentice working with my Dad, a master craftsman, starting with the simple tasks in chair making.

I took over the business of chair-making from my Father in 1985. Although I stayed with the original design, I have done some tweaking throughout the years, both in the design and the woods I use. With forty acres, much of it wooded, I am able to use many of the trees from my own property. I have found myself drawn to the beauty of walnut, cherry, and ash woods in particular.

Each tree, individual in nature, offers its own surprises as I transform it into a chair. I am always amazed to watch the individual grain of a tree appear as I hand rub the finish into the wood. This gives each chair its own uniqueness. I have strived to stay true to the original design of the Starry rocker.

I use no glue in constructing the chairs; instead, I pressure-fit the chairs together and use only four nails. This is very similar to the Shaker technique of constructing a chair. I always hand rub the finish into the chair to protect it and to bring out the natural grain of the wood. My chairs have come a long way from the original porch rocker to one that enhances the beauty of the woods I use.