Sling Chair

Sling Chair

Sling is a collaboration between designer and woodworker Eric McBain and textile artist Isabella Valeria Bontorin. 

Sling ChairSling Chair

At its heart, this project is a restoration of a 38 year old family relic. This clever yet simple collapsible chair was purchased in Winnipeg in the early 80’s and became the site upon which Eric was breastfed and fell asleep with his mother as an infant. To honour this connection, the skeleton of the sling chair was restored to natural wood tones stained to be reminiscent of driftwood. Inspired by old family photographs, the textile sling was reimagined by Isabella Valeria Bontorin as a handmade homage to the chair’s nostalgia through a timeless contemporary aesthetic. This act of restoration is a meditation on care, for both the process and material. Through removing its thick brown shellac and dated textiles, we breathe new life into the objects that raised us.

Sling Process 1Original chair in Winnipeg (circa early 1980s).

Process 2Chair prior to restoration.

process 3Disassembly of chair.
Process 4Original hardware cleaning and shellac removal.

Process 5
Edge rounding and first coat of new stain. 

Sling Chair
Test assembly before final finishing. 

Isabella Process
Isabella Process

Isabella's textile conceptualizing and prototyping.
Folded sling chairEric & Isabella

Project in production, to be exhibited in January 2022 at Sienna Flora (1344 Dundas St W, Toronto) as a part of DesignTO 2022.

DesignTO Festival


Searching for Sling

Our attempts to find the original manufacturer/designer of the sling chair have unfortunately run dry on leads. All we really know is that these chairs came from Winnipeg in the very late 70s to early 80s, and they appear to be manufactured from 2x3 spruce. If for any reasons you recognize the original chair or think you have any other hints we would love to hear from you.

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