What Makes A Great Rocking Chair?
A couple of things. Firstly, they have to rock smoothly. There is nothing more annoying than a rocking chair that is lumpy or off-balance. I make my chair runners (the curved parts the chair pivots on) from carefully selected piece of thin wood, laminating them together to form perfectly curved, perfectly matched pairs. These runners are very strong for years of reliable service.
For most folks, the seat height of about 17 inches is ideal. This is about the same as an average dining chair. For shorter people, I also make a "short" rocker with a lower seat height of about 15 inches. The right seat height allows your feet to be on the floor while you rock.
The proper balance is also important. A well-balanced chair will keep your centre of gravity towards the back of the seat, and you will neither pitch forward when rocking, nor feel like you are going to fall back, or worse yet, tip over backwards. My chairs have all these features. You may not understand all the geometry involved, but you'll know a good rocker when you sit in one of my chairs.
The first thing anyone does when examining one of my pieces is to touch it! So a great finish is important. It is also very nice to run your hands across the smoothly-finished arms of a rocking chair as you are sitting in it, rocking gently.