Tree to Child’s Chair with Aaron Sterritt

Grown at Logie, Felled at Logie, Made at Logie

Recently, I took possession of two children’s chairs from Aaron Sterritt destined for our new-ish nephews. These delightful, colourful pieces are sturdy and functional and I can’t wait to see the nephews using them in a few months time along side the chairs already given to their older brother and sister at their Christenings.

I love the idea of these handmade children’s chairs grown, felled, milled/cleft and made right here at Logie. To me this is modern vernacular furniture at its best; practical and functional, made by a craftsman from local, natural materials. I took the chance to ask Aaron about the chairs and his knowledge and enthusiasm made me want to share their creation story with you.

Aaron says he’s learnt making children’s chairs as he’s gone along, using his own daughter to test them out. He’s discovered that it’s more-or-less exactly the same as making an adult chair. The only difference is that you don’t need stretchers across the legs because they’re low enough not to need the extra support.

Aaron experiments with different materials, but each of ‘my’ chairs is made from these Logie-grown woods:

Elm Seats

Aaron Sterritt child's chair with Logie Elm seat

Aaron tells me that elm is traditionally used for seats because it’s very strong and when you hammer in the other components of the chair it doesn’t split – due to its swirly grain (which doubles up to look really good on the largest surface of the chair too). Because of its strength you can use Elm only an inch thick as seat material but with most other woods it would have to be at least two inches thick in order to be strong enough for the job.

Oak Legs

Aaron Sterritt child's chair with Logie Oak legs

Traditionally, ash was used more for chair legs but Aaron likes to use oak. The legs are all hand split (cleft) rather than sawn and oak splits at right angles very easily (tangentially to the grain – it splits both along and across the grain at right angles). This is why you get the nice squareness to the legs, which is the natural shape and hasn’t been sawn or sanded. In stead it is finished just using a draw knife and a spoke shave.

Ash Spindles

Aaron Sterritt child's chair with Logie Ash spindles

Ash is the traditional material for spindles because it’s very strong along the length of the grain (hence it’s used for things like sports bats). The top is also Ash that’s been steam bent. Ash is happy to be bent this way because it has a long straight grain. Again, these are hand-shaped with a drawknife rather than using a saw or sander.

Why commission a child’s chair?

Aaron pointed out that children’s chairs need to be versatile because children grow and change all the time, so while it might be used to sit on at a desk at one point, at another it might be used as a stool to stand on and at another as a useful ornament.

handmade oak, ash and elm child's chair by Aaron Sterritt

My siblings and I were each given a child’s chair when we were small and mine now sits in my daughter’s room. In fact it came to me from an older cousin. It’s lovely to see it back in daily use by a child after years as a step to reach the high shelves in my mum’s larder. Juno sits on it to read, and I lay out her school clothes on it at night for the morning. In my view, a well-made child’s chair is an heirloom to hand down, along with its story, to the next generation.

About Aaron & Where to Find Him

Aaron is a different kind of woodworker. He creates contemporary pieces of furniture and sculpture in wood that are inspiried by the natural characteristics of the material itself. He has an innate understanding of wood and is completely focused on shaping the wood in a natural way: splitting along the cells of the grain, keeping the timber intact and creating natural shapes. His furniture and sculpture are a testament to his principles.

Aaron Sterrit working

Aaron has a workshop at the end of the Logie Steading drive. He runs his green woodworking courses from here, so you can have a try at making your own unique piece of furniture for yourself. He has a selection of furniture on display in Logie Steading Art Gallery. He will also be exhibiting one of these chairs amongst his pieces at Logie Steading Christmas Market on 8th & 9th December 2018. Come along and see for yourself!

Tree to Child’s Chair with Aaron Sterritt

Terms & Conditions for fishing on Logie Estate

  1. Fishing on the river is restricted to 2 rods per beat and is to be by fly only. All fishing is from the right bank. By arrangement with the neighbouring estate there is no left bank fishing on the Relugas Middle and Top beats.
  2. The fishing is split into two 2 rod beats, Logie and Relugas, with Relugas sub divided into Middle and Top.  Beats can be taken together or separately. Logie is fished Monday to Saturday, Relugas Middle on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Relugas Top on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Beats change at midnight.
  3. Fishermen must contact Logie Estate office on 01309 611300 a day or so before arrival to organise being shown onto the river. A map of pools, beats and access routes will be provided.
  4. Bio-security is important to the future of the river and anglers are asked to observe protection measures. The Findhorn District Fishery Board Conservation Code will be strictly observed. To summarise: All fish caught up to 14th May inclusive must be released. From 15th May, all salmon over 9 lbs / 4 kg / 28 inches / 72 cm are to be returned.  Below that measurement at least 70% of salmon and 50% of grilse caught should be released and a maximum of 1 salmon and / or 2 grilse per rod per week may be retained. In September all fish are to be returned. No gaffs or tailers are allowed.
  5. The Findhorn District Fishery Board Bio-security measures will be strictly observed and all fishermen in the party must sign the Bio-security Declaration. (Also available at http://www.fnlft.org.uk/downloads/)
  6. The Estate recommends that barbless hooks are used, fishermen are in possession of a disgorger and that knotless nets are used. All possible care should be taken when returning fish to the river, they should be handled as little, and gently, as possible and should not be removed from the water.
  7. The catch should be reported at the end of each day of fishing to Logie Estate Office on 01309 611300. If the office is closed, please leave a message on the answering machine with the date, weight and pool. Please also report a nil catch day.
  8. Dogs are allowed on the river but must be kept strictly under control at all times. The Estate reserves the right to ask tenants to remove dogs if they are considered to be out of control.
  9. Rod, line and fly size are dependent on prevailing weather and water conditions and personal choice. In general, maximum rod length needed is 13ft with a size 8 or 9 line, usually floating. Fly sizes range from 6 – 8 in the spring down to 12 or less in summer low water.
  10. Safety must be considered at all times. All beats have a variety of pools with some suitable for most heights of water. Little wading is necessary and river paths are good however the fishing is within the Findhorn gorge, access to some of the pools is quite steep and a degree of rock scrambling is often necessary when playing and landing fish. Please be aware that a reasonable level of fitness and mobility is required. A buoyancy aid for each rod is provided and should be collected from Logie Estate Office on arrival, and returned to the Estate Office (or to the outbuilding opposite if office is closed) on departure. Logie Estate strongly recommends that buoyancy aids are worn when fishing and not doing so is entirely at fishermen’s own risk. Please pay attention at all times, avoid slips and falls, wear appropriate footwear, look out for overhead electricity lines, watch the weather and pay attention to livestock. Take extra care if fishing alone.
  11. Anglers need to supply or hire their own equipment (except buoyancy aids, which are provided).
  12. Ghillieing/tuition is available by on a first come, first served basis. This must be booked in advance with the Estate Office and is subject to availability. A half day ghillieing/tuition is approx. 3 hours, full day approx. 6 hours. Please contact the estate office or check our website for current rates. Rates do not include discretionary tips.
  13. Rod, Reel & Line hire is available by on a first come, first served basis. This must be booked in advance with the Estate Office and is subject to availability. Please contact the estate office or check our website for current rates. A rod, reel and line set is for one person and is subject to a fully refundable damage deposit of £100.
  14. Aside from fishermen, others, including rafters and kayakers, enjoy this stretch of river and mutual respect and consideration is expected.
  15. Bookings are confirmed when initial payment is received. Subsequent changes in dates or number or rods are entirely subject to the Estate’s discretion and to availability. Change of dates, if accepted, incur an administration fee. In the event of a cancellation the tenant must advise Logie Estate immediately, whereupon Logie will endeavour to re-let. If a new tenant can be found the deposit will be returned less any expenses incurred for advertising, office costs, etc., and less any shortfalls in discounted list price. Until such time as a vacancy has been re-let the hirer is responsible for making any further payment by the due dates. Failure to do so may mean that the hirer forfeits any refund if the dates are re-let. If it is not possible to re-let, all payments are still payable by the due date(s). It is unlikely that a refund can be made for a late cancellation. Logie Estate recommends that fishermen take out relevant cancellation insurance.
  16. Subletting fishing is only allowed with Logie Estate’s permission.
  17. Logie Estate reserves the right to immediately withdraw fishing without compensation from anyone who breaks these or associated conditions, or flouts normal standards of behaviour or fishing etiquette.