Sean “Purl” Samoheyl and David Rogers

Traditional Chair Making

Master Artist
Sean "Purl" Samoheyl
Apprentice
David Rogers
Folkway
Traditional Chair Making
Location
Louisa
Master chair maker Sean "Purl" Samoheyl, right, runs the chair shop at the Twin Oaks Intentional Community in Louisa, Virginia. His apprentice David Rogers works in the shop with him on Sunday 1/19/14.  Photo by Pat Jarrett/The Virginia Folklife Program
Master chair maker Sean “Purl” Samoheyl, right, runs the chair shop at the Twin Oaks Intentional Community in Louisa, Virginia. His apprentice David Rogers works in the shop with him on Sunday 1/19/14. Photo by Pat Jarrett/The Virginia Folklife Program

Sean Samoheyl is a resident of the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa County—an intentional community founded on the principles of egalitarianism and sustainability. One of numerous intentional communities created in rural Virginia during the back-to-the-land movement of the 1960s and 1970s, Twin Oaks residents reject the throwaway consumer culture prevalent in America for a more subsistence-based style of living. It was this philosophical grounding in part that led Sean Samoheyl to pursue the craft of chair making in addition to other traditional building skills. To both learn and hone his craft, Sean sought the guidance of elder masters in the region. In a relatively short period of time, Sean has become a first-rate craftsman, recognized both within and outside of the Twin Oaks community as a master of his craft. David Rogers, an aspiring woodworker from Winchester, is eager to work as Sean’s apprentice.