Ottoman, Hassock or Footstool

This post requires a little audience participation. What’s the difference between an ottoman, a hassock and a footstool? I posed the question yesterday on Twitter, to which I received the smart answer “one is an empire and the other is an umpire”. Since I don’t know my baseball from my basketball, I will have to accept that their may be an umpire named Hassock. But what other distinction could there be?

On Monday, I had two helpers in my studio: my mother, visiting from Vancouver Canada for our holiday weekend, and Jean-Francois a young man I met when I was freshly out of college working in Haiti for NPH. I was 24 and he was 10 years old. Now he is 24 and my son is 10 years old (this parallel continues to tickle me). He has been studying in English in Seattle since September, living with a host family and working with the NPHI Leadership Institute to become one of the next generation of leaders for this formidable organization. His schedule is pretty full with school, so I don’t get to see him very often. But every once in a while he surprises me with a studio visit, for which I repay him by asking him to hammer some nails.

Like all good projects, this idea has been percolating for longer than I care to admit. As my mother has many hours of upholstery under her belt, I decided to take full advantage of her visit. While I laid out a large piece of felt with romney locks and some odd spots of dark rambouillet cross, she ripped the old fabric and trimmings off an ottoman I picked up a few years ago, and unscrewed the plastic feet. When it was time to felt, she got her hands soapy with me, rubbing until it was time to move to the washboard where I finished off the piece.

A couple of hours, a few cuts, some staples and a few nails later we had a new piece of furniture, however you decide to label it. This piece will be on display at BallardWorks for the Ballard ArtWalk on June 9, from 6-9pm. It will be for sale in my Etsy shop.

If you would like to work with some wool locks, I will be teaching a class this Saturday from 1:30-4:30 in my studio. To register, leave a comment at




3 Responses to “Ottoman, Hassock or Footstool”

  1. 1 Stewart Pedasso II Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    I love it. Congratulations!! There is no limit to what you can do with such cooperative and capable assistants.

  2. 2 Liza Friday, June 1, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    So awesome Leah! The more I learn of you the more awesome you get! Love the new furniture whatever ya call it and the story behind its coming into being

  1. 1 Wooly Table to Ottoman « HomeWork Trackback on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 9:01 am
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