Furniture Designer and Maker, San Francisco, CA
Chairtastic is part of a collaborative space called Woodshop in the Outer Sunset of San Francisco. Chairtastic began as a place for old chairs to be reinvented with new ideas. Josh Duthie has designed a small line of seating that has hints and references from the vintage chairs he has worked with in the past.
Q: So to begin with how did name Chairtastic come about?!
A: I was creating a site to post pictures of vintage chairs that I had been reworking and my wife thought of the name. It is such a ridiculous name that I had to do go with it. I still am surprised when people tell me how much they love the name Chairtastic.
Q: You spent a while doing innovative repairs to classic vintage chairs before you jumped into designing your own. Was this something that was planned or was it more of a natural transition?
A: It was a natural transition. I didn't start out with a plan to design my own chairs, but some fortunate things led me in that direction. My good friend and studio mate started a woodshop in his garage. I had been collecting chairs from the flea market and started working on them for my house. A friend form the local surfshop was opening a store and asked if I wanted to put some chairs in her store. I was really excited and enthused that the community supported what I was interested in. I kept taking apart old chairs and putting them back together.
I brought most of them home and lived with them. I fell hard for a few of them. I was spending most of my free time looking and researching chairs. While working on vintage chairs my goal was to keep each chair's integrity intact. It felt natural and necessary for me to take on the challenge of making my own. All of my designs have hints of chairs that I have worked with in the past.
Q: The Woodshop as a community seems like a really inspiring place to work. How did you all end up here?
A: Luke and I started in his garage until he got evicted for having a woodshop in his garage. We shared a studio near SFO airport after that and I was primarily sewing quilts in a small room, while Luke was building furniture and Jeff was painting in the same space. I kept bringing in chairs and quickly started spending more time in the shop. It was time to move on to a new space and . Danny Hess was making surfboards in his garage and looking for a bigger space. We all met up to look at the space on Noriega which is were Woodshop is today.
"While working on vintage chairs my goal was to keep each chair's integrity intact. It felt natural and necessary for me to take on the challenge of making my own. "
Q: Would you say that creatively you all feed off of one another’s work?
A: I would say that. I feel very fortunate to be around such a supportive group.
Q:What are your plans for the next year and what are you most excited about?
A: I intend to make more chairs. I get excited when I see my chairs out in the world.