Chairs and stools made by David Ralph for Anders Ousback

Made by Ralph, David in Richmond, Tasmania, 2000.

Tasmanian furniture maker, David Ralph (born 1946), crafted these two chairs and matching stools from horizontal timber in 2000, not long before his retirement. Their simple, rustic design is influenced by the ‘stick chairs’ that Tasmanian bushman, Jimmy Possum, made in the Deloraine district in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Unlike the Possum chair, which features four legs passing through a slab seat to form arm rests, Ralph’s chair consists simply of a slatted seat with st...


Object No.


Physical Description

Chairs (2) and stools (2), horizontal timber, commissioned by Anders Ousback, made by David Ralph, Richmond, Tasmania, Australia, 2000

Two matching chairs made from horizontal timber. Each chair comprises of four legs, four stretchers, a curved seat with eleven slats, two arm rests and a high back with three horizontal slats. The narrow, untreated timber features residues of bark and lichen.

Two matching stools made from horizontal timber. Each stool comprises four legs, four stretchers and a curved seat with eleven slats. The narrow, untreated timber features residues bark and lichen.



David Ralph (born 1946) crafted these rustic chairs and matching stools in 2000 at his workshop in Richmond, Tasmania. He made these pieces from horizontal timber that grows in the rainforests of south-eastern Tasmania, near the township of Geeveston. Ralph worked with the wood in its natural state, retaining most remnants of bark and lichen.

The wooden components have been turned on a lathe, and the seat and back slats have been shaped to follow the curvatures of the human body. Ralph always constructed his furniture from horizontal timber though occasionally turned pieces, such as bowls and cannisters, from huon pine.

David Ralph moved from Sydney to Tasmania in 1970 after graduating as a mining engineer from the University of New South Wales. He adopted woodwork as his formal profession in 1975, acquiring skills through experience rather than formal training. He retired from woodwork in around 2002.


Ralph, David 2000


Ralph, David null



New South Wales potter and restaurateur, Anders Ousback (1951-2004), bequeathed these two chairs and stools by David Ralph (born 1946) to the Powerhouse Museum. Ousback commissioned the pieces in 2000 when he moved to his new home in Wombarra, New South Wales. The chairs were situated in the living room while the stools were placed in the guest room at the foot of the bed.

In 2005, friends of Anders Ousback donated funds to the museum to purchase a selection of pots from his estate. At the same time, Leo Schofield donated a large porcelain bowl that Ousback had given him in 2003 as a sixtieth birthday present.


Ousback, Anders 2000


Credit Line

Bequest of Anders Ousback, 2005

Acquisition Date

23 May, 2006

Cite this Object


Chairs and stools made by David Ralph for Anders Ousback 2014, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 22 January 2018, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Chairs and stools made by David Ralph for Anders Ousback |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=22 January 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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