Wooden spindle furniture can serve as a beautiful addition to your room. The elegant curves of the wood provide both a custom and organic feel. With a hand-carved design, it is the perfect furniture piece for the beach cottage or farmhouse inspired homes. Spindle furniture has a rather interesting history, with the building style dating back hundreds of years. So each piece of wooden spindle furniture you place in your home has a direct connection to the times of royalty in Europe.
A Look at Wooden Spindle Furniture
Before looking at the history, it is important to understand what spindle furniture is and its main characteristics. The wood utilizes a cylindrical shaft. It takes on the “spindle” name because the wood is spun horizontally and carving tools are applied to the wood. This gives the wood a unified shape, depending on the amount of pressure applied with the carving tool. It takes a lot of practice and skill and meticulous attention to detail. The technique is a combination of art and design, and we have found craftsmen who have perfected spindle furniture construction.
The production process shares many similarities to throwing a clay pot on a pottery wheel. Instead of a wheel, though, the wood is placed into a device known as a lathe. The lathe holds the wood on each end as it sits elevated off a workspace horizontally. During the first several hundred years of wooden spindle production, the lathe used a foot peddle to control spinning speed (similar to antique sewing machines).
The History of Wooden Spindle Furniture
Wooden spindle production requires steady spinning in order to create the smooth appearance of the wood. The lathe has been around far longer than spindle furniture, though, as Ancient Egyptians constructed a two-person lathe in order to cut wood. Ancient Rome went on to use this wood carving method to mass produce bows.
Using a lathe to build wooden spindle furniture dates back to the 17th century, although it did not become a major staple in furniture production until around 1772 in the United Kingdom. Western Europe used this production method the most, and it eventually became a staple of Victorian furniture styles. Then, later it was only fitting that the handmade style of wooden spindle furniture would eventually make way to the Early American Arts & Crafts Movement and the American farmhouse.
Enjoying Wooden Spindle Furniture
With a furniture history dating back several hundred years and the lathe history dating back several thousand years, you can enjoy this culmination of woodworking in your very own wooden spindle furniture. Applications of this beautiful, farmhouse style, include beds, tables, chairs and even lamps.
Emilie of Shell & Chinoiserie loves the look of spindle chairs because they are traditional, but add an element of interest to a room because of their textured arms and legs. The added bonus is that they can become even more fun with custom upholstered cushions.
Ms. French loves the spindle look of this entry table because “the intricate detail doesn’t feel fussy yet is quite pretty.” We agree!
Melissa from The Inspired Room says of spindle bed frames, “I love interesting little details on furniture. Twisty legs, spindles, or the Jenny Lind style beds — they all add such a fun sculptural detail to a room!”
We can all agree that the visual interest of wooden spindle furniture can amplify a space. That’s why we invite you to get the look with Cottage & Bungalow’s collection! Here are a few standouts.
Get the Look
Wooden spindle furniture is beautiful, versatile, and charming. So come explore the different design options and features available to you at Cottage & Bungalow.