Storytime Chair Project



January, 2003

Current Owner

Eve & Jason

Current Location

San Jose, CA


wooden chair, acrylic paint, acrylic, varathane


contributions of numerous individuals combine to create a vibrant reading chair for use in a 4th/5th grade classroom. Features logos from bay area sports teams and colleges with a protective acrylic sheet over the seat.


The Storytime Chair was construed as a reading goals incentive/gift for Eve's 4th grade class. The goal was to create a vibrant, almost interactive, chair with images and artwork that can be discoverd and rediscovered by members of the class.

The Storytime Chair was a collaborative project. Contributors included Steph, Eve, Jason and myself. Each contributor took random sections of the chair and painted scense of his/her own design. There was no "master plan" between the scenes, and blending/meshing was left up to the various contributors. All of the artwork was done in acrylic paint with various other media. The entire chair is finished with a protective layer of varathane, to ensure some level of basic survivability in the harsh environment that is a grade school class.

In a desire for artistic integrity and respect for the roots of the project, the edges of the chair were intentionally left as bare sanded wood.

The Seat:

The seat has a base of black enamel. Upon this base are stickers and (custom printed) logos of bay area sports teams and universities. The stickers/logos are embedded in a built-up layer of varathane and then protected from wear with a bolted on sheet of acrylic. The most difficult part of the seat was establishing a process that would enable varathane coating of the custom inkjet prints. The first few attempts resulted in miserable failures and splotchy (or bleeding) ink. The final process (let's just call it my trade secrect) essentially rendered the inkjet prints waterproof and colorfast.

Encoded Messages:

Two of the panels have "secret" messages encoded into them. The encodings are simple, but were meant to instill a joy for discovery. Decoding the messages resulted in a reward (provided by yours truly). The idea for encoding messages on the Storytime Chair was a logical extension to the lesson unit ("Code For The Classroom") that I had designed and taught in Eve's classroom. The rewards were claimed by a few ambitious students within a month's time.