While Tristram handles the woodwork, I'm re-rushing this seat. The old rush was sagging and brittle; although it had acquired a very comfortable shape it threatened to give way at any moment. Nice surprise for an unsuspecting house guest! When I took off the old seat it was filled with about two hundred years' worth of dust, too.
The rush comes twisted in a large spool and smells sweet & grassy. We soak it to make it more pliable, then weave it tightly in this traditional pattern—seats like this date back to BCE. Over time the color becomes golden yellow. An old rush seater's trick is to tuck some cat nip in the gaps when weaving, so the owner's cat will scratch the rush and it will need replacing much sooner! I promise, no cat nip here.