Self-knitting chair

In the junk pile gathered for the Working Title exhibition I found an old wooden chair with the back totally missing – it had been somewhat savagely sawn off just above the seat. I thought this was a prime candidate for knit-based repair, and had the idea of using the chair itself as a french knitting bobbin to knit the replacement back. It’s almost as if the chair is rejuvenating itself (with a bit of help).

The french knitting is working the opposite way round to usual – going round the outside of the leg, rather than inside a cylinder - meaning that the purl (reverse) side of the knitting is on show. I swapped the yarns of the two sides at times, to create two horizontal bars across the back of the chair. A row of nails along the back of the frame allowed me to knit a new (somewhat dysfunctional) seat.

I love the idea of an object becoming the tool for mending itself – and that the final appearance of the repair is controlled to a large degree by the tool and process. I also like how savage the nails look, compared to the seeming fragility of the knitting.


  • Created in August 2011 for the Working Title exhibition at Aspex in Portsmouth

  • No longer in existence; hi-res images available