Walt Turpening makes benches and stools and chairs. All good and useful products but you might think they weren't terribly interesting or important. You would be wrong. A Walt Turpening bench is the greatest thing since sliced bread to a weaver. Think of a bench that is the perfect size for your behind, that's the perfect height for the treadles on your loom, that's comfortable and won't leave your bottom numb and that's beautifully hand woven in the colors of your choice. Wow. It's a marvel. And think of a chair that is the perfect size for you behind; that's the perfect height for your spinning wheel with a comfortable seat that also happens to have a beautifully hand woven seat and back which can be seperated for easy travel or to make a backless stool when you need one. Yup. That's a Walt Turpening creation.
I chose red oak for the legs of both my bench and chair. The bench is woven in black and grey cotton while the chair is woven in light and dark lichen green. Walt reserves the right to choose the actual weaving pattern for his creations. I've never seen one I didn't love so he makes good choices.
As you might expect, Walt is pretty busy. He retired to Kingsport, TN where his woodshop is but he makes the rounds of fiber shows in the east. Peggy and I met him at SAFF (Southeastern Animal Fiber Festiville) in October of 2011 in Asheville, NC. I ordered my bench and chair as soon as I realized he was at the show. That was October 21, 2011. The bench and chair arrived yesterday March 5, 2013. That's a total of 1 year, 4 months, 1 week and 5 days of waiting. I would much rather have had both the bench and chair months and months ago but I'm not complaining. They are wonderful.
Along the way we managed to find and aquire another bench and chair made by Walt. The chair came from Laura Viada and now lives with Peggy. The bench I got from Tracy Kaestner when she was moving out of the Lone Star Loom Room shop in old Katy, TX. Both were made to the specifications of much smaller women so they might not have fit us very well but have worked out great. The bench would be too short for my Gilmore loom but it's perfect for the Baby Wolf loom. The chair is a little short for my legs but fits Peggy perfectly. Yea!