February 27, 2019

Cleveland-Area Artists Dish on Their Studio Chairs

By Dott von Schneider

Decades ago, I had the perfect studio chair. I’m not certain how I acquired the yellow Herculon and wood monstrosity, but I probably garbage-picked it from someone’s lawn. Anyway, it was comfortable despite its terrible fabric and square arms. It had the perfect lean — just enough to bend back and stretch, but not enough to fall backward. It set upon four casters with which I could roll myself across the loft, from a painting to my tool area to pick up a brush or drawing instrument, and back to the painting. Man, I loved that thing. My hunt for its replacement prompted me to ask area artists about their studio chairs. Here's a roundup of what they had to say about their beloved chairs:

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ANGELA OSTER
"My husband Tom is a collector of strange furniture. I’m not sure which thrift store my chair came from. It’s ideal for me because it swivels and is on wheels so I am free to spin around. It’s kind of home base in my workshop, because whenever I open the door it’s a race between my cat and me who gets there first. I suppose it’s like the heart of my control center, a perch from where I make creative decisions."

ANGELA OSTER

"My husband Tom is a collector of strange furniture. I’m not sure which thrift store my chair came from. It’s ideal for me because it swivels and is on wheels so I am free to spin around. It’s kind of home base in my workshop, because whenever I open the door it’s a race between my cat and me who gets there first. I suppose it’s like the heart of my control center, a perch from where I make creative decisions."
ANGELICA POZO
"There’s always a story, lol. Actually, this chair is pretty perfect for when I work at a desk height. It was left from the previous owners of my property. They left two of these and three great big steel desks. It is a great chair and I love that it has wheels."

ANGELICA POZO

"There’s always a story, lol. Actually, this chair is pretty perfect for when I work at a desk height. It was left from the previous owners of my property. They left two of these and three great big steel desks. It is a great chair and I love that it has wheels."
DANA OLDFATHER
"I have a couple of studio chairs with stories. My red one I’ve had since I moved out of my parents’ house. It was part of a dining room set of chairs my parents had before I was born. My dad uses one of them in his studio and has my whole life — only he painted his yellow. He is an easel painter and sits in his every day. I mostly stand when I paint, so I use mine for when I sketch or think. I like that we have the same studio chairs. It makes me feel closer to him (even though we don’t speak often since he doesn’t have a phone) and closer to painting, knowing there is some remote sort of solidarity there."

DANA OLDFATHER

"I have a couple of studio chairs with stories. My red one I’ve had since I moved out of my parents’ house. It was part of a dining room set of chairs my parents had before I was born. My dad uses one of them in his studio and has my whole life — only he painted his yellow. He is an easel painter and sits in his every day. I mostly stand when I paint, so I use mine for when I sketch or think. I like that we have the same studio chairs. It makes me feel closer to him (even though we don’t speak often since he doesn’t have a phone) and closer to painting, knowing there is some remote sort of solidarity there."
DAVID KING
"Obviously the second one is more popular. These are not my studio chairs. These are my cats' chairs."

DAVID KING

"Obviously the second one is more popular. These are not my studio chairs. These are my cats' chairs."
DAVID KING
(The other chair).

DAVID KING

(The other chair).
DAWN TEKLER
"My studio chair functions as a chair, dining table, stepladder and bed. If I told you what else, I’d have to burn it. It’s orange and it’s spectacular!"

DAWN TEKLER

"My studio chair functions as a chair, dining table, stepladder and bed. If I told you what else, I’d have to burn it. It’s orange and it’s spectacular!"
EILEEN DORSEY
"If you work on your feet, you can’t have an overly comfortable chair and it most certainly can’t be low to the ground. You need to be able to quickly move in and out of the seat with ease. My perfect studio chair is actually a 3-foot stepstool. I spend a lot of my day perched on the top stair, staring at my work and waiting for it to tell me what the next move will be. It is also helpful for reaching the top of the larger paintings."

EILEEN DORSEY

"If you work on your feet, you can’t have an overly comfortable chair and it most certainly can’t be low to the ground. You need to be able to quickly move in and out of the seat with ease. My perfect studio chair is actually a 3-foot stepstool. I spend a lot of my day perched on the top stair, staring at my work and waiting for it to tell me what the next move will be. It is also helpful for reaching the top of the larger paintings."
FRANK ORITI
"I do currently have a great chair in my studio. It was handed down to me from my mother. I had just moved into my studio a few years ago and she was getting rid of it. My studio was close to empty — other than my painting supplies, some books and the paintings I was working on. I think a good studio chair should be comfortable, but not too comfortable — as you should be working and not spending too much time sitting! It should be easy to move around and free from any clutter. My actual painting chair is not very comfortable. It should be, for as much time as I spend in it."

FRANK ORITI

"I do currently have a great chair in my studio. It was handed down to me from my mother. I had just moved into my studio a few years ago and she was getting rid of it. My studio was close to empty — other than my painting supplies, some books and the paintings I was working on. I think a good studio chair should be comfortable, but not too comfortable — as you should be working and not spending too much time sitting! It should be easy to move around and free from any clutter. My actual painting chair is not very comfortable. It should be, for as much time as I spend in it."
HERB ASCHERMAN
"Yes, I have a tall stool in use since 1975 for headshots and a gorgeous corner chair since 1995 for more portrait poses. Treasure #1 was bought at Sears when I opened my first studio in 1975. It is the consummate all-person reliable stool for just about any headshot. Because of its height and wooden back, it is multifunctional when shooting couples or standing groups."

HERB ASCHERMAN

"Yes, I have a tall stool in use since 1975 for headshots and a gorgeous corner chair since 1995 for more portrait poses. Treasure #1 was bought at Sears when I opened my first studio in 1975. It is the consummate all-person reliable stool for just about any headshot. Because of its height and wooden back, it is multifunctional when shooting couples or standing groups."
HERB ASCHERMAN
"The corner chair was purchased sometime in the early ’90s from an antique store. I am an inveterate antique shopper. Over the years, when I see a chair with character, I pick it up for use in the studio."

HERB ASCHERMAN

"The corner chair was purchased sometime in the early ’90s from an antique store. I am an inveterate antique shopper. Over the years, when I see a chair with character, I pick it up for use in the studio."