Is the Weeks Rocker a Copy of the Maloof Rocker?
Sam Maloof was the designer and maker of a famous rocking chair. He inspired woodworkers to higher levels of artistry and educated a large portion of the public to why it was important. He was generous. His brilliance cast a bright light. We are grateful for the illumination.
But it makes a hard shadow to get out from under.
The Maloof Rocker has become an icon. It is still made in Sam's shop. It has been widely copied (often poorly and stiffly), with versions for sale on many websites and craft fairs.
I don't like Maloof Rockers much. Granted they have vigor and coherence, but they look like something Darth Vador would sit in. I find a tortured Gothic affectation in some of the details, particularly in the copies.
- The crest rails are too flat. 8/4 wood is not thick enough to yield the proper curve.
- The arms are too low at the front.
- There is a splat in the middle where your vertebrae need room.
- The seat is scooped deeply all the way to the front, failing to hold you back against the lumbar support.
- The leg to seat joints are extremely clever, strong, original, and beautiful--have to love them.
- But there are too many butt joints held by screws (arms to back legs and crest rails to back legs).
The Weeks Rocker is as original as the design of anything with generations of iterations can be. Our rocking chair and the Maloof rocker don't look alike, but we still get asked if ours is a version of a Maloof rocker, so I wrote this page.
Our patrons who have access to both tell us which is more comfortable. Citing the points above, no one yet has preferred the Maloof.