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August 2005
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October 2005

Recent Craigslist Finds

Another slow news week, and I've put together a list of eye-catching items from the San Francisco iteration of Craigslist, the original of that now world-wide free classifieds site (which I believe was bought by Ebay not too long ago).

Old House Windows

Janice Calpo, who lives not far from me in the great old Curtis Park neighborhood here in Sacramento, is the subject of an article in last weekend's Sacramento Bee - "Seeing the Light: When it comes to windows, Janice Calpo praises restoration over replacement."

SMUD, the community-owned utility here in Sacramento, has a long history of offering incentives for the installation of poorly made vinyl replacement windows, even when restored wooden windows would be longer-lasting and just as energy efficient. Unfortunately, many homeowners can't take a longer view of the life of their home and opt for vinyl - hurting the value of their historic home in a market where authentically period means $$.

Janice Calpo, who is otherwise polite, radiant and sweet-tempered, is the self-appointed "window czarina" of Curtis Park. No shard escapes her scrutiny.

She is a champion of rippled glass, regards complex mullions as though they were the Elgin marbles, is a patient advocate for those sometimes-geriatric double-hung windows that open (if they open) and close (begrudgingly so) with a wheeze, or a rattle, or a sudden thump.

In a world increasingly devoted to energy efficiency, reduced utility bills, whispering appliances, snug windows that speak Tuscan and obey with fingertip ease, hers is a one-woman crusade to keep the window faith, to let the true-divided light shine in.

Rockridge Kitchen Tour

If you are anywhere in the SF Bay Area, don't miss the Rockridge Kitchen Tour this coming Sunday. Nine remodeled home kitchens - from period-perfect restorations to super-modern workspaces - will be profiled in this four and a half hour walking tour. Tickets are $25 until September 30 and $30 the day of the event and can be purchased by calling 510.644.4228 or visiting the Rockridge Community Planning Council at 5951 College Avenue in Oakland.

Dana Robes Craftsman Rocker

Craftsman_rockerupdate 09.02.07: I have been informed that a) Dana Robes furniture is no longer in business as of 09.06, and that Eric Gesler left the firm in 2002.

I wrote about Dana Robes once before, but I just wanted to point out a beautiful Craftsman rocker that is in their most recent mail-order catalog. The chair was designed by Eric Gesler, the head designer at Dana Robes (he also teaches workshops at their Enfield, New Hampshire workshop), and is comes in either cherry, ash, oak or maple. Most of their work is orthodox Shaker, but this pieces (and some of their custom built-ins) has very strong Craftsman lines, although stretched out a bit in a sort of compromise with its makers' Shaker background. The rocker sells for about $2000.

J. D. Lohr

Love_seat_72_dpi_copyJeffry Lohr is a woodworker and educator living and working near Valley Forge, PA. His large studio houses a regular workshop series priced at various levels for both the serious student as well as the hobbyist;  J. D. offers a solid machine-based 48-hour (week long) course for beginners through much more advanced students. Other educational opportunities include two-year apprenticeships.

His own work is very strongly influenced both by Prairie and Craftsman traditions, and many of his original designs merge elements of Asian and traditional American Craftsman styles and such Prairie elements as fine spindlework and the more cubic, grid-based geometry of Frank Lloyd Wright and other furnituremakers of the Prairie style. His casework is particularly interesting, showing an interesting mix of Mackintosh's Glasgow style and the Japanese-influenced cloud lifts and soft edges popularized by Greene and Greene.

If you are near Valley Forge and are a woodworker youself, you will also find his wood gallery - and his recommendations of various area woodsellers - particularly useful.

Craftsman Auction Weekend


Yet again, it's time for Rago Arts' Craftsman Weekend - by far the richest and most extensive auction of A&C craft and decorative art. This year, the catalogues - both versions [1 / 2], one for each day - are available as PDFs for download, and the stock is as always available for browsing online.

David and Jerry have put together an amazing number of one-of-a-kind pieces this time: a whole range of 1920s Marie Zimmerman metalwork, including some really incredible boxes, tumblers and vases; a number of great examples of Rookwood and Newcomb work, including a few less common pieces; and some really amazing stuff that I wish I could see in person. A selection follows:

Roycroft Book-Arts Weekend

Our friend Richard Kegler of P22 (who sell some very detailed and well-designed Craftsman typefaces) is one of the instructors at the following Roycroft workshop, which should be of interest to our readers in the northeast, Roycroft fans throughout the country and anyone interested in fine printing and bookbinding:

The Roycroft Crafts community of Elbert Hubbard circa 1896-1915 produced astonishing amounts of hand crafted items that have become highly collectable and highly regarded. The Roycroft Campus Corporation presents a weekend workshop series which allows participants to work as artisans did 100 years ago.

A collaborative workshop series will take participants through all facets of book production. Participants will work on components of one of three books throughout the weekend. Workshops include:  papermaking, paper decoration, hand set type, hand printing, printmaking, illumination, and various binding techniques. Each participant will take home new skills in the book arts as well as a copy of one of the three books. These will be the first Roycroft books to be made at the Campus in over 60 years!

Roycroft Book-Arts Weekend: Oct 14 - 16, 2005
Roycroft Campus Coppershop South Grove at Main, East Aurora NY

Last-Minute Hearst Castle Tour

This coming weekend, American Decorative Arts Forum of Northern California invites all members and guests to attend a special weekend of tours of historic Monterey, Asilomar - and a private tour of Hearst Castle with guide Victoria Kastner, author of Hearst Castle: The Biography of a Country House. The complete program costs $450 and includes bus transportation from and back to San Francisco, lodging and all tour fees, as well as Friday dinner and Saturday breakfast.

The incredible itinerary begins with a private bus ride from the Bay Area to Monterey on Friday morning, and concludes late afternoon Sunday after an all-day private tour of Hearst castle, focusing on decorative art and, of course, the amazing architectural history of Julia Morgan's masterwork.

I am told that only two or three spaces are left; contact Doug Baxter ASAP at 415.377.0444 if you are interested.

Pasadena Craftsman Weekend 2005


If you are anywhere remotely near southern California this coming October, I very strongly recommend making your way to Pasadena for some of the wonderful Craftsman Weekend events on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd. These folks take it very seriously - the weekend is packed with lectures, home tours (and walking and bus tours, too), a whole exhibition hall full of furniture & decorative art displays and dealers, special evening events and plenty more.

The event is organized by Pasadena Heritage, the local non-profit preservation group, and has been held for  14 consecutive years now. It's the "largest and most comprehensive celebration of the Arts & Crafts movement in the Western United States," and all proceeds go to ongoing preservation and education efforts in Pasadena.

Stickley, Audi & Co. lecture

Style1900coverArt historian Marilyn Fish, Editor of Style 1900 magazine, will be speaking about interior design in the Arts & Crafts style at 6 p.m. on September 15 at the Stickley, Audi & Co. Manhattan showroom. "Guests will be offered guidance on creating a harmonious room design based on articles and writings of Gustav Stickley from his magazine, The Craftsman." reservations are recommended - call 212.337.0700 to RSVP.

+ Stickley, Audi & Co.: 160 5th Ave., New York City

DePape Associates Architects


DePape Associates is a small residential and commercial architecture firm located in Lake Forest Park, Washington, just north of Seattle. Their homes run the gamut, but their Craftsman influenced residences - brown-shingle Craftsman mountain cabins and rural homes (including one built to show off the owner's amazing stained-glass collection); a castle-like Spanish Revival home in Belize; a rough-hewn English-style manor, complete with great hall - are where principal Dennis DePape's strength lies.