November 11, 2020

Understanding the Arts and Crafts “Style”

What is the Arts and Crafts “style?” I often hear that question. Rightfully so, that question is often followed by another query about different pieces of Arts and Crafts furniture looking quite different from one another; and that is a perfectly fair assessment, as I’ll illustrate later in this post. But before I jump into proving those folks right, let’s put this in perspective. That is before you can understand the arts & crafts style; you have to understand some things about the arts & crafts movement. That understanding begins with understanding the movement’s tenets.

June 08, 2019

Tall Tall Trees!

Long ago, William Morris established drawing design inspiration from nature as one of the tenants of the Arts & Crafts movement. Knowing this, and being a fan of wood, I’ve always wanted to see California’s coastal redwoods. I recently checked this off my ToDo list.

March 26, 2014

Evolution of Design: An Update

Again, I’ve fallen into the habit of working in the shop and doing little blogging. So here’s another update on how the Stickley Double Costumer inspired coat tree is progressing. Since my first post, we’ve been working on creating prototypes of the two major components of this piece — the feet and the posts. First, let’s talk about the feet.

November 28, 2013

Ready, Set, DESIGN!!!

Designing is one of the most fulfilling aspects of making furniture. It allows you to have an influence on the furniture’s look and feel, as well as the dimensions and functionality. Yet, from a learning or skill-development perspective, it is also one of the most elusive elements of furniture making to understand, let alone master. If you challenge me to design on command (Ready, Set, DESIGN!) I can’t necessarily create a great design the way I can perform a specific skill— say cutting a set of dovetails, or building a drawer. In my mind, that’s because successful design requires inspiration, creativity, and epiphanies. And those elements are a bit esoteric and don’t easily lend themselves to being taught or practiced into existence.

August 26, 2013

Evolution of Design

Lately, posts has been few, and far between. So in case you were worried that I’m not doing anything, I have in-fact only not been posting. Until now!

May 22, 2010

Arts & Crafts: 3 Things You Can do on Your iPad!!!

I’m not sure that you can reconcile being a fan of technology and Arts and Crafts furniture, bust as Popeye would say, “I yam what I yam!” So here are three things you can do on the iPad to feed your love of all things Arts and Crafts.

March 31, 2009

Wood Magazine’s Jim Heavey

This past weekend I had the pleasure of hanging-out with Wood Magazine’s Jim Heavey. I first met Jim Thursday night-he was the headliner at the Washington Woodworkers Guild of the National Capital Area’s monthly meeting. Jim gave an excellent talk on how to select, apply, and care for finishes. To his credit, Jim is one of those rare speakers who can walk into a room full of woodworkers with no slides or visual aids– just a couple of finish samples, and keep a crowd captivated, and on their seat edges all night long; which is exactly what he did.

January 03, 2009

Oak’s Alluring Ray Fleck Pattern

On a recent trip to Craftsman Farms I had a conversation with the docents about fuming oak. We agreed that there were varying opinions about why Gustav Stickley fumed his oak–some thought it was to “Pop” the ray fleck pattern from the surrounding grain, while others believe he was trying to deaden the appearance of the ray fleck patterns. The more I thought about the contrasting views, the more curious I became. So I decided to do a little poking around and see what I could find.