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Ontario company crafts chairs for papal visit

Pope Francis is making a historic visit to Canada, July 24-30, and in honor of the papal visit, a Canadian company was asked to make some historic furniture pieces for the event.

Quality & Co., a custom-furniture manufacturer based in Maple, Ont., was commissioned to make the one-of-a-kind pieces.

The final products are eight chairs standing roughly 55 centimeters high — about eight centimeters higher than a regular dining room chair — adorned with white padding and a carved wooden crown depicting a swirling image of soaring eagles, salmon, and a caribou herd.

The chairs are for the pontiff to use at each of eight public programs he is to take part in during his Canadian tour, which begins Sunday and ends July 29 with stops in Alberta, Quebec, and Nunavut.

“We pulled all our resources here to get this to happen … all hands were on deck,” company president Frank Caruso told the Global News.

Close to 30 people, from designers to carvers to upholsterers, worked hundreds of hours so the chairs would make it to their final destinations.

In the end, the team constructed two different designs for the chairs using specs provided by the Vatican to accommodate the Pope’s mobility issues. Designers used four different stains and six different fabric and embroidery patterns.

“These pieces are going to become heritage pieces to be displayed wherever these events take place. It was very important that each chair had a twist or a unique kind of feeling,” says Rafael Studart, senior designer at Quality and Company.

Studart says the team took inspiration from architecture found in cathedrals and churches. The chairs themselves have simple shapes and arches to reflect that.

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