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August 2004

Best Open Houses

openhouseWhat are your favorite Craftsman, Prairie or Mission homes or other structures that are open to the public?

A few of mine include Pasadena's Gamble and Blacker Houses (since the Blacker's restoration, it is only open from time to time for tours), La CaƱada-Flintridge's Lanterman House, San Diego's Marston House, on the edge of the wonderful Balboa Park (in itself one of the richest examples of Spanish Revival architecture anywhere), Wright's Fallingwater in Western Pennsylvania's Laurel Highlands, and Julia Morgan's incredible Hearst Castle.

Please comment on this post and let us all know about the historic structures in your area or places you've visited that are open to the public.

book links: Blacker House; Gamble House; Fallingwater; Hearst Castle

Arts & Crafts jewelry design today

bracelet-2A number of talented contemporary jewelry artists continue to produce interesting original work (and faithful reproductions) in the Arts & Crafts style. Among them are the designers of Dard Hunter Studios, whose strongly deco-inspired work reflects quite well upon thier namesake. The folks at Craftsman Home carry several lines of Craftsman-inspired silver and copper jewelry, including a few Roycroft pieces, and Ron Van Ostrand, a juried Roycroft Renaissance Master Artisan, sells his own work via Ebay.
See Jewelry & Metalwork in the Arts and Crafts Tradition for a much more in-depth look at this subject.

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Steve Jobs' Old House

15jobs.3.184Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer, would like very much to tear down his home - a beautiful 17,000 square foot Spanish colonial revival mansion designed by George Washington Smith (book) in Woodside, California. The house has been empty for five years, and is, according the the NY Times, run-down and decrepit. Jobs claims that the structure "was never really a very interesting house to start with" and that it was "pretty much a dump when I moved in." The local History Committee disagrees, and has a long tradition of debating and fighting noveau-riche dreams of I.M. Pei glass-and-steel cubes.

How has historic preservation helped or hindered the growth and integrity of your community? from metafilter

Northome at the Met

wright-chairThe Metropolitan Museum in Manhattan can't really be said to have anything on display that is not a highlight. However, one of my personal favorite parts of the museum is the Frank Lloyd Wright room, a re-creation of the living room at Northome, formerly of Wayzata, Minnesota. The Met's reassembled room contains some beautiful pieces of Wright-designed furniture, including in ingenious collapsable print table and a pair of chairs that seem to be Wright's update of the Roycroft aesthetic. Recently, the met added an excellent virtual tour of the room to their website.

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Seattle Bungalow & Craftsman Home Show

historic-seattleIf you live in the Northwest, try to visit this year's Bungalow & Craftsman Home Show. A huge number of vendors have already booked space at the 2004 event, to be held the weekend of September 25/26, and it promises to be a good time for anyone interested in Craftsman style or contemplating the restoration of an older home. I think there are a number of other cities that would benefit from an event like this - specifically one organized by a public agency or non-profit. The Seattle show is produced by the City of Seattle's own Historic Seattle organization and their Arts & Crafts Guild.

Welcome to Hewn & Hammered

While we won't actually add much in the way of content or have any kind of official unveiling until August, I wanted to write a short introduction, specifically for the various authors who have been invited to contribute and for the few folks we're trying to get a bit of free advertising from.

Articles posted on the site will address any in a very wide range of A & C-related topics: individual architects and designers; personal renovation or restoration projects; hobbyists, craftspeople and furniture manufacturers, historical or contemporary, and their work; painters, sculptors, textile and metal artists, graphic artists and bookmakers; and general articles or short notes on the history and philosophy of these movements.

Just as my other weblogs [Typographica and Moco San Francisco] focus on a particularly narrow topic, so too will this site: all manner of art and craft as they relate to the Mission, Craftsman and Prairie movements and, to some extent, other related styles.

Everyone else: please email me if you'd like to be set up with a posting account, or if you'd be interested in designing a masthead for the site - I'd like to set up a rotation with a dozen or so thematic mastheads, 770 pixels wide x 100-200 pixels tall. To see this kind of setup in action, I again suggest taking a look at Typographica.