Sam Maloof was an iconic American craftsman who is credited with designing and creating the sculpted rocking chair. The chair I am making, in my opinion, is a more improved and refined version which has been developed over about three decades by another American master craftsman Hal Taylor.
I got to hear about Hal and his chairs via Canadian woodworker Paul Lemiski, another amazing craftsman who makes a vast array of outstanding furniture including beautiful sculpted rockers and dining chairs.
I am a fan of Sam Maloof’s work. However, I feel that Hal Taylor’s version of Sam’s rocker is both structurally and aesthetically a far better chair. I think that Hal would agree with me though, that Sam’s genius was not only his brilliant craftsmanship but also his ability to innovate and inspire. Many of his designs were uniquely his.
The main joints that hold this chair together are referred to by many woodworkers as ‘Maloof Joints’ and are a key feature of this chair. The joint you see on my chairs is a Hal Taylor joint that Sam himself adopted on his later chairs. The joint Sam used were much smaller and required screws.
Hal’s joint by design is bigger and significantly stronger than Sam’s version and eliminates the need for screws. His vision was to create a set of joints that could be sculpted in such a way as to look beautiful from every angle.