WELCOME. I'm Lary Shaffer, the owner of Scarborough Marsh Fine Furniture. My cozy woodshop is in the coastal Maine woods near tidal Scarborough Marsh. I make a wide variety of custom furniture but for the last ten years I have invested much of my time in designing and building traditional Morris chairs. While there are many makers of the bold and square Mission syle of Morris chair, I am one of the very few makers of the other sort, which is sometimes called the "traditional" Morris chair..
The Morris chair that I have created is intended to be a tribute to the tradition of the time-honored motif. It has serpentine shapes and wide wooden arms. The back of the chair can be made to recline as a steel bar is moved up and down in cast iron back racks. It is made with meticulous scrutiny applied to the details. The chair back is hinged with special Morris chair pintle hinges that I make here in my shop along with the back bars. The back racks that hold the bars are cast exclusively for me in a small Maine foundry. Nothing but the best would do for a chair made with such craftsmanship and care.
The fabric covered cushions are made specifically for my chairs here in Scarborough. These custom made cushions are beautiful. We have worked with Greenhouse Fabrics where there is a wide choice of upholstery fabrics available. Original Morris fabrics often depicted elements from nature. The choice is yours however, and we will do anything we can to try to help you find fabric that will complement your decor.
In order to replicate the comfort and feel of antique Morris chairs we use a special seat cushion foam that is made for us incorporating a layer of memory foam on top. The seat cushion rests on hand-tied steel springs. The back cushions are filled with down and have a foam core so that they hold their shape. A matching ottoman is also available, covered with the same fabric as the chair.
I make two versions of the tradtional Morris chair. They are among the pieces of furniture that I have made for the restoration of Franklin D. Roosevelt's dorm suite at Harvard. I recently named these after the occupants. On the left is the "FDR" shown in quarter-sawn white oak. Below right, named for FDR's suitemate, is the" Lathrop Brown", shown in black walnut. These chairs are a labor of love for me. It takes a long time for me to make a chair. As I make the hardware and work on the wood I think about all the years that the chair will be in use and all the pleasure that it will give you. The hand-forged hardware and the hand work on the wood makes each chair an individual in my eyes. Because I make furniture one piece at a time, there is usually a waiting list which may be as long as three months. As soon as you are quite sure that you want a chair made by me and we have settled on the details, I will put you on the list. When your chair moves near the top of the list, I will contact you and check to be sure that you still want it. As soon as I start to build your chair I will send you email pictures of the progress, if you like. You can see more details about construction on the page How I Make My Handcrafted Morris Chairs and some models and examples of prices at Chair Models and Other Custom Furniture. Just click on the pulldown menus above.