I've been writing about contemporary furnituremakers and designers - many of them woodworkers - over at Moco San Francisco for a few months now. Most of these folks' work is not, aesthetically, born of the Arts and Crafts Movement; however, I thought that those readers who are woodworkers might be interested in the following:
With the recent addition of a DSL connection to our home, I have started using an RSS reader to check various feeds every day. One nice feature of the Craigslist bulletin-board system is that any search term can be saved as an RSS feed - for example, I search the San Francisco and Sacramento boards for "mission," "oak," "craftsman," "prairie," and "stickley" every day. I've seen a number of interesting items, and since you're usually buying from individuals - often people cleaning out relatives' estates - and not dealers, the prices are pretty good. For example: a Berkeley Mills cherry bed for way below list; an A&C drafting or side table; an oak rocking chair; a brass fireplace wood holder; an L&JG design tabouret; a repro lamp from Restoration Hardware.
Mission Tile West bill themselves as "the tultimate place for tile in Southern California and beyond" - and their inventory does not disappoint. They maintain a huge selection of handcrafted ceramics, stone and teracotta at their two showrooms in South Pasadena and Santa Monica. Their online catalog - full of Batchelder, Catalina and dozens of others (plus their own "Revival" line – shows just a portion of what they sell and can order. And the installation photos are a great idea source!
Regarding last week's post on Sotheby's Greene & Greene auction today, Richard Rowe alerts us to Gene Maddaus' article in yesterday's Pasadena Star-News detailing ethics concerns about this - and other - G&G auctions.
Our friend Keith Wiesinger, founder of the Wilson Crafts Guild, had the opportunity to visit the Byrdcliffe traveling exhibit recently and was kind of enough to forward us a short review:
The Byrdcliffe Colony is a very unique tidbit in American arts and crafts history. It started in 1902 and exists in an altered form even today. I think that the colony was in some ways the most direct transfer of William Morris's ideals and designs into the American marketplace at the turn of the century. The colony started largely by imitating Morris spirit and design queues. The traveling exhibit is excellent but I recommend some prep before you travel to see it.
A friend was shopping for a half-dozen Craftsman desks for her new office and found a huge range of new items at an equally wide range of prices:
- a simple mahogany library table/desk with an organizer and drop-down keyboard tray, which was available from a dozen retailers for a similar price ($700-$800)
- Louis Fry's frankly amazing and ornate African wenge-inlaid wide 3-drawer desk
- David Gray's gorgeous maple, koa, walnut and ebony writing desk
- a very conservative and clean corner desk from Hardwood Artisans
- a dozen different desks (fall front, library, pedestal, and more) from Harvest House
- various el-cheapo models
Pamela Hill's roots in the Illinois Amish Country shine through in her art & craft of quilt-making. These gorgeous objects would rival any works of art that you would hang on your wall. However, Pamela constructs her quilts to be used, following the Art & Crafts philosophy of combining usability and aesthetics.
Each quilt is constructed to be machine washable, warm and long-lasting. It's art that you can sleep with ... a perfectly lovely combination for long winter nights.
please visit House In Progress!
Tatyana Epstein wrote to tell us about Strother Purdy, a cabinetmaker living and working in Connecticut. Purdy's work is eclectic, often in the Craftsman and Nouveau traditions although his materials are sometimes unorthodox, favoring the curly white oak and cherry of the Northeast and its Shaker tradition over more traditional oaks of the Arts & Crafts movement.
Purdy now has his own business after various other pursuits - teaching English in Slovakia, graduate school at NYU and working at Taunton Press (both at their Fine Woodworking magazine and later in the woodworking books department). His shop in Bridgewater is open every day but Sunday.
Move to the head of the class and check out Schoolhouse Electric Company, one of the newest manufacturers of period lighting fixtures and authentic glass shades. Schoolhouse Electric Company owner and president, Brian Faherty, rediscovered original cast-iron shade molds and commissioned American glass artisans to manufacture the shades using the original glass blowing techniques. To complement the shades, solid brass fixtures have been hand-crafted to be historically accurate reproductions of the original styles.
For additional information about Schoolhouse Electric Company products, visit www.schoolhouseelectric.com.
Home & Garden Television (HGTV) has transcripts and stills (and sometimes video) of the thousands of episodes of their programs available online. Many episodes are devoted to, or at least touch on, working with Arts & Crafts homes. I've gone through their database and pulled a couple of dozen episodes; hopefully you'll find some of them useful, or at least entertaining (maybe that would be a good motto for Home & Garden Television). The full list is available in the extended post, below.
Download a number of classic William Morris wallpaper designs from the William Morris Gallery, part of the London borough of Waltham Forest's Lifelong Learning services office. The files make excellent desktop backgrounds once tiled.
Rich Muller notes that "many of the pieces that have been in the Huntington's Scott gallery are now up for auction (through Sotheby's). There are a lot of high-resolution images that I've never seen anywhere else. Get your checkbooks out, or at least download some of these images! There is also information on each lot." Catalogs are US$43; the least expensive item up for auction is significantly more expensive.
Of special note, at least to those interested in the graphic arts: some of the most expensive cuts (of such a small size, at least) ever.
Clay artist Jim Webb of Studio 233 began studying ceramics with Toshiko Takaezu while an undergraduate at Princeton University. After graduating with a degree in art history he traveled extensively, primarily in the Middle East. While in Afghanistan for a year Jim worked for noted archaeologist Louis Dupree. It was during this time that he developed a keen interest in Islamic art and architecture.