Previous month:
October 2004
Next month:
December 2004

Before the Architect

Before the Architect offer a range of educational resources and consultation & design services to prospective homebuilders, including introductory tutorials for particular architectural styles, including an excellent short description/introduction to the Craftsman style. As the site notes,

You've come to the right place if:
1. You want to be involved actively in the plans for your next house or major addition.
2. You have been-there, done-that with architects, and prefer not to go back-there and do-it-again.
3. Your dream home is your next home.
4. You have planned, clipped, and sketched for years, and now it's time to sort it out and get going.

Todd Exter


Todd Exter is one more of the finite but large number of tremendously competent and creative cabinetmakers living and working in Vermont. He is primarily self-taught, and in light of that his technical skill is especially impressive; his use of grain and his mortise-and-tenon work is artful and subtle, just as it should be. Working in a variety of woods, mostly local maples, Exter has made a niche for himself by integrating traditional Craftsman forms with contemporary style and the smooth, clean uninterrupted lines of the Vermont Shaker tradition.

neighborhood: Anaheim Colony


Unfortunately, many folks know Anaheim only as the home of Disneyland. However, the town has a distinguished architectural history and is one of the earliest and best-preserved collections of Arts & Crafts bungalows in Southern California. Resident Phyllis Mueller gives us this short history of the colony:

Anaheim was founded as a colony in 1857 when George Hansen purchased 1,165 acres of land on behalf of the Los Angeles Vineyard Society for the purpose of subdividing the land into vineyards and house lots. Its original boundaries were North, East, South, and West Streets. Anaheim’s wine industry flourished during the early years, but in 1885 the vines were stricken with disease, and the profitable wine industry was destroyed. Soon after, the enterprising colonists recovered by replacing the vineyards with orange groves, lemons, walnuts, and chili peppers.

Continue reading "neighborhood: Anaheim Colony" »

book review: Living Homes

book-iconSuzi Moore McGregor & Nora Burba Trulsson's Living Homes profiles the design and construction of twenty-two homes - all constructed using the various principles and techniques of sustainable building - throughout the Western United States. 7 adobe homes, 5 rammed-earth houses, 5 straw bale structures and 4 reinvented / recycled / high-tech material buildings are examined. The homes are built in a wide variety of architectural styles: contemporary steel and earth constructions, pueblo and spanish revival rancheros, mission and craftsman cottages. All are both an expression of their owners' and builders' character and the philosophy of the green building movement made real.

Continue reading "book review: Living Homes" »

neighborhood: Westwood Park

Westwood2clinkerGreg Clinton, Board President of San Francisco's Westwood Park Association, tells us about one of the earliest and most interesting & architecturally important planned residential neighborhoods in the city - an area many outsiders know only for Louis Mullgardt's entry gates.

Development of Westwood Park began in 1917 by Baldwell and Howell under the architectural supervision of Ida McCain. Westwood Park was the first planned subdivision in San Francisco, consisting of 686 single-family homes mostly in the California bungalow style.  Each house has its own unique detailing. Some bungalows have an Arts & Crafts influence, while others have elements of Spanish Mission or English Tudor.  Several public green areas are dispersed throughout the neighborhood, which provide a feeling of spaciousness and nature, rare in a dense and crowded city like San Francisco. Historic gates and pillars that mark the main entrances to the Park were restored by the Westwood Park Association in 2004.  On the inside, most of our homes have open floor plans, lots of windows and natural light, extensive gumwood trim, custom built-ins, and numerous architectural detailings.

Visit our Westwood Park photo album to see some of the remarkable and varied Craftsman, Deco and Mission homes of this neighborhood!

Continue reading "neighborhood: Westwood Park" »

Wright's Carr Home Destroyed

FlwdemolishOn November 8, an 88-year old Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house in Grand Rapids, Michigan was demolished to make room for a new single-family home. The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy would have preferred to save the home from demolition, but not made aware of the demolition plans until after the building had been torn down. According to Wright scholars and others who examined the property, however, the house was in especially bad shape and restoring it would have been a very serious undertaking. William Allin Storrer, author of The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion, said of the property:

The building deserved to be torn down, and crying over its destruction brings to mind the story of the shepherd boy who cried 'wolf' once too often. We must preserve that of Wright which truly represents his organic architectural principles, and the W.S. Carr house did not even when built, though it had the master's signature on the plan.

photograph: Kevin Byrd / Associated Press / Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy

Continue reading "Wright's Carr Home Destroyed" »

Hewn & Hammered wants you!

Hewn & Hammered, in our relentless pursuit of interesting content, would appreciate the following:

  • please send us photographs of your home, furnishings, woodworking projects and other crafts for our photo albums; and
  • if you are at all interested in contributing a short article or note on almost any subject within the purview of the site - there's no time commitment at all! - please drop me a line and I will set you up with an author account!

Tile Heritage Foundation

TilemonthfoundationFounded in 1987, the Tile Heritage Foundation is "dedicated to promoting an awareness and appreciation of ceramic surfaces in the United States." They sell books, historic tile catalogs and other publications, provide self-guided vintage-tile tour pamphlets ($3 per tour), and will recommend refinishers, restorers and tilemakers for your project. They also administer the Doty Research Grant, the purpose of which is to "stimulate research in the field of ceramic history and conservation." Additionally, the Foundation maintains a large photographic library and copies of images from their collection are available for a fee.

pictured: Mary Philpott's Crow

book review: Creating the Inspired House

book-iconA home is more than the sum of its parts - the combination of space for living and working, carefully designed for or altered to fit its occupants, furnishings and other contents specific to the lifestyle of its owners: these all add up to something more, something less easily defined, which John Connell has tried to quantify in Creating the Inspired House.

Continue reading "book review: Creating the Inspired House" »

Custom Tile Frames

TileframeaDavid Eklund makes custom tile frames in a number of different styles. Each frame is made from a single piece of oak, cherry or walnut to maintain the consistency in grain and color, and David can make a frame to any size to accomodate different types (or numbers) of tiles or friezes. Frames on his website are shown with tiles from a number of tile makers, including Ravenstone, Mulberry Street Studios, Motawi, Grueby (via Bungalow Bill),  Handcraft Tile and others. Picture and mirror frames are also available.

Gibbs Smith, Publisher

YoshikofuschiaThis is not a book review, per se, but rather a publisher review. I've got a stack of relatively recent books on the Arts & Crafts movement in general to review, and this is sort of an appetizer for the many upcoming book reviews that we'll be printing throughout the next several weeks.

Gibbs-Smith, located in Layton, Utah of all places, give their corporate motto as "to enrich and inspire humankind." This may be the kind of thing you expect to read on the letterhead of a big art book publisher, but they do strive to meet these lofty goals.

pictured: one of Yoshiko Yamamoto's letterpress-printed cards

Continue reading "Gibbs Smith, Publisher" »

Nest and Company

Nestdining1Just opened on September 18, 2004, Javier and Debbie Santiago's Nest & Co. shop in Montclair NJ is a treasure trove of home furnishings: they carry furniture, art pottery, miac lamps, embroidered textiles, hand silk-screened wallpaper, ceramic tiles and copperware. In addition to their stock on hand, Nest offers full interior design services.

Javier and Debbie decided to go into business after not being able to find adequate furnishings in their area after their bought their own bungalow five years ago. They integrated their love of A&C interiors with their own backgrounds in graphic arts and Javier's experience with woodworking and home renovation, and the idea for Nest was born.

Nest & Company
15 South Fullerton Ave. (at Bloomfield Ave.)
Montclair, NJ 07042
tel 973.509.9488
email [email protected]

John Struble

StrubletansuThe Japanese influence has been tremendously important to the evolution of the Craftsman aesthetic, and is a central part of some of the West Coast craftsman styles. It's hard to imagine Greene & Greene furniture, for example, stripped of the cloud lifts, bat forms and various other Asian imagery and decoration that the brothers integrated into so many aspects of their work.

John Struble, a woodworker based in Philadelphia, has been integrating design elements he has seen on his trips to China and Japan into his own work for over 20 years. His case pieces - step and other types of tansu (chest) - integrate traditionally North American materials like curly and birdeye maple into very traditionally Japanese and Korean forms, with a surprisingly contemporary result. Struble shows his work every year at the Philadelphia Furniture and Furnishings Show.

thank you & good morning

Wow, more new people. I'm feeling really special this morning. Mr. Dash likes us, and Typepad made us a featured site today; I've noticed a huge upsurge in traffic. Thanks, Anil! But what would be really great would be if those of us with multiple weblogs could split up our photo albums between sites (and assign multiple levels of permissions for co-authors and editors in group weblogs). Speaking of which, check out the albums; some great pictures of Brian Lee's doors over in DOORS.

Hello new readers!

Most of the many new readers visiting us today saw our advertisement in this month's Style 1900 magazine. Welcome - and please, if you have any interest, don't just be a reader: we are always looking for folks to contribute short articles, links, notes on events and businesses and products, and photographs! Please send us a photo of your own home, furniture and design treasures and anything else you'd like to share with the other readers of Hewn and Hammered. If you would like to contribute, drop me a line and I will set you up with an easy-to-use author account.

Van Ostrand Metal Studio

VanclockRon Van Ostrand works with various metals - copper, silver, gold and steel - at his studio in Holland, NY. Almost everything he makes is in the A&C style, specifically the Roycroft tradition of metalsmithing. His newest completed works include a number of different jewelry designs, many integrating the Roycroft square rose motif. The showing of vases currently for sale through hisstudio is large and impressive, and the same goes for the switchplates and clocks. Some jewelry and other items are also for sale via his ebay store.