The Big Ski Chair Affair

The Big Ski Chair Affair

As a board member of a local non-profit called the Big Mountain Commercial Association (BMCA), I am always trying to think of ways to raise money for the organization. The BMCA runs the bus transportation system in our resort town of Whitefish, Montana. In the winter, the bus runs up and down to the ski hill and in the summer we have added Glacier Park to the route. To raise money for the bus, we decided to host The Big Ski Chair Affair. Whitefish Mountain Resort donated 10 older ski lift chairs, we had them converted to benches and now ten different artists or groups of artists are creating masterpieces that will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. During the summer, the ten chairs will be displayed at the businesses who sponsored a chair.

My local fiber art group decided to decorate a chair. The drawing above is our basic design. Our theme is leaves so we’re using eco printed felt and leaves made from copper, wire, stitched threads and felt. On the left side of the design you’ll see what looks like a rock under the bench. It will be foam covered with felt.

I have stitched quite a few felt leaves on to their copper wire frame. Hopefully, we’ll have enough leaves, currently we have about 40-50. These are a combination of hand dyed felt and an eco printed wool blanket.

Here’s a photo of the chair after we pulled off the padding. These seat four skiers and are very heavy.

This is after we primed the chair and put the eco printed fabric on to see what it would eventually look like with cushions covered with eco printed wool. We have since that time painted the chair a dark chocolate brown but I don’t seem to have a photo of it so I’ll have to show that to you later.

Now I’m starting to work on the rock. This is the foam that I am using.

I glued it together with WeldBond Glue which worked very well.

The leg of the chair has to go through the rock so it looks like the rock is holding up that side of the chair. So I cut holes and glued pieces together to start forming the rock shape. I am now using a heat cutting tool to shape the rock. It’s taking me much longer than expected but I’ll take another photo when I get the final shape carved down.

And each night this week, I have been making batts of grey crossbred wool from RH Lindsay on my drum carder.  I still have quite a few batts to make before I am ready to felt. And of course, I have to get the right shape of the rock. But the project is moving forward and we’re happy with our progress. It’s a big project but we’re having fun and it’s interesting to problem solve how we’re going to handle different issues that arise as we work with the chair.




20 thoughts on “The Big Ski Chair Affair

  1. That’s simply fantastic. I love those chairs & I would certainly covet one if I didn’t live on the other side of the world! I hope you gets lots of people coming to town to view them.

    1. Thanks Jill! It would have been great to see the chairs covered by all fiber artists from all over the world but the chairs weigh a ton and it was hard enough moving them a few miles 🙂

  2. I’ve been following your ski chair with great interest and I think the effect of the chair resting on the rock will be brilliant.

  3. What a wonderful project! I love your idea of using wool, leaves, eco print. I’m sure it will attract many visitors.

  4. Great design and progress. I’ll be anxious to see how it all turns out including the rock.

    1. Thanks Marilyn! We’re all anxious to see how the leaves are going to look on the chair. That’s the next major project.

    1. Thanks Zed, it is a bit unusual. We are always coming up against an issue we hadn’t realize would even be an issue. But it’s been interesting problem solving to figure it all out.

  5. Coolest thing I have seen in ages! Your work is always evolving, keep it up. Such an inspiration too.

  6. What a busy woman you are. What a great idea for a great idea for a ski town. So much more useful than decorating a moose or tulip. I am sure it will be a very popular bench. Although those are very nice too. I have been following along a bit on your other blog too.

    1. Thanks Ann, it wasn’t my idea originally but I thought it was a great idea too. Hopefully people will really like them.

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