This Month's Obligatory Craigslist Aggregation

It's December, and you're looking for that perfect gift, maybe a piece of furniture or a lamp or something for the Craftsman aficionado in your family. You don't have time to wait for shipping - you've gotta find something nearby. So you visit, fire up  your home city, and find...

Jeffrey Hunt Woodworking


Jeffrey Hunt's work is a fusion of Japanese and Craftsman styles and mixes a variety of woods. The long horizontal lines, grids and rigid angles of the work make it especially complementary to a Prairie home (like this Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced chair), although his work might be the taste of anyone interested in Asian-influenced Arts and Crafts. His more angular modern work is also quite attractive.

Hunt lives and works in Nevada City, a small town in the foothills of the northern Sacramento Valley.

More Craigslist Finds

We search Craigslist so you don't have to:

  • Stickley Bros. bench with pillows: $850 (Davis CA)
  • trestle table: $100 (Fair Oaks CA)
  • antique oak umbrella stand: $300 (Danville CA)
  • L&JG Stickley dining table & chairs, + Fulper bowl & runner: $3500 (San Francisco CA)
  • Stickley Bros. rocker: $750 (Gilroy CA)
  • 1915 oak writing table/desk: $400 (Burlingame CA)
  • oak library table, needs refinishing: $225 (Los Gatos CA)
  • unknown maker, unique design A&C dining table, c. 1912: $3500 obo (Belmont MA)
  • A&C paneled rocker with original leather: $250 (Boston MA)
  • Stickley Bros. writing desk: $900 (Chicago IL)
  • Prairie style stained glass lamp by Karl Barry: $1950 (Chicago IL)
  • A&C stained glass chandelier: $90 (Chicago IL)
  • salvaged previously-builtin A&C cabinets (4): $100-$150 each (Chicago IL)
  • unknown maker, unique design oak library desk: $635 (Seattle WA)
  • 1899 Roycroft book, signed by Elbert Hubbard: $100 (Seattle WA)
  • A&C oak library table: $160 (Seattle WA)
  • pair of Gustav Stickley spindle cube chairs: $5000 (Portland OR)
  • A&C oak smokers' stand: $125 (Portland OR)
  • English A&C childs' rocker: $80 (Portland OR)
  • Stickley file cabinet, looks new: $999 (Santa Monica CA)
  • new-looking Morris rocker: $950 (Santa Monica CA)
  • slat-backed Gustav Stickley rocker: $800 (Venice CA)
  • another slat-backed A&C rocker: 450 (Santa Monica CA)

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).

Tom McFadden Furniture

Mcfaddensideboard_1Way up along the California coast, not far inland from Point Arena and not far from Mendocino, lies the tiny town of Boonville. Furniture designer and builder Tom McFadden – who does double duty as a woodworking instructor at Medocino Community College and cabinetmaker for Navarro Vineyards – has been living and making beautiful A & C -inspired furniture in this area since the early 1960s. The liquid lines and soft lifts of his work evoke Greene & Greene and aspects of the Nouveau movement, with a sort of pared-down simplicity. He writes that he currently works primarily in two styles: one characterized by the straight lines and square corners of the most formal Shaker work, and the second incorporating a rounded design element that he calls "steps," which echoes the Asian cloud lifts used so effectively by the Greenes. The most iconic characteristic to Tom's work, though, is his tendency to combine woods of very different colors and shades in the same work, giving some of his finest work a kind of graphic contrast not seen anywhere else. This theme is even visible in his much more conservative office furniture.

Joel Liebman Custom Furniture

DadscabinetJoel Liebman and Avery & Ginger (who succeed Jasmine) build beautiful and almost exclusively custom-to-order works of art and craft. Joel – formally trained at the Genoa School in the late 1980s – is now working out of a shop on the third floor of a classic New England millhouse (long since converted into artists' studios) in Easthampton MA. Much of his work has the angles of streamline deco and moderne styled work and would fit in almost as well in the early 1930s as it does today, but Joel's ability spans more than a single style. His use of multiple materials – wood, glass, and leather – and his tremendous technical ability as a cabinetmaker are what make his work really stand out. I am especially impressed with his original Craftsman designs.

Joseph van Benten, Furnituremakers


Designing work that can only be categorized as Nouveau Shaker or possibly Surreal Shaker, Joseph van Benten and his staff build (very) original pieces from woods local to their shop in Brookline, MA. They've been at it for almost 25 years, and the range of work – from traditional Shaker designs to Greene & Greene & Craftsman style work to Asian-influenced plans and some very original modernistic seating – is matched only by their creativity. I especially like the simple lines of their Shaker & Prairie styled cabinet work.

Object Fetish: Craigslist, May 2005


I love to trawl for neat bits and pieces, although most of what I come up with is junk - all-MDF made-in-China "authentic Mission oak" entertainment centers and the like. However, in between that stuff are items of note, looking for loving homes; here's what I've found this morning:

  • an attractive 1-drawer telephone table in San Francisco
  • a Barber Bros. armchair, also in San Francisco
  • a tiled A&C/nouveau washstand in Berkeley
  • a Berkeley Mills dining set in Marin
  • a restored quarter-sawn white oak settle in San Francisco
  • an interestingly-framed mirror in San Francisco
  • doorknobs in Seattle
  • a rebuilt Mission pendulum wall clock in Seattle
  • a couple of good looking Couristan rugs in Seattle
  • a Globe Wernicke stacking bookcase in Seattle
  • a very pretty sideboard with mirror, also in Seattle
  • a relatively new-looking Morris rocker in Los Angeles
  • a set of interesting hanging table lamps in Minneapolis
  • a tiger oak piano, also in Minneapolis
  • a rocking chair in Atlanta
  • another, similar chair in San Diego
  • an intricate Nouveau hall stand in San Diego
  • a pretty high-grain golden oak roll-top desk in Manhattan

Object Fetish: Ebay, April 2005


Lots of good stuff on Ebay this week - tomorrow I'll go through A&C items on various Craigslist regional sites, but today I've got a few deals from ebay to share.

Urban Hardwoods

Pic3Seattle's Urban Hardwoods make furniture with a variety of reclaimed woods, primarily urban trees felled for a variety of reasons, from disease to construction to weather. Some of their work is very contemporary in design, but even if modern isn't your thing, there's plenty of beautiful grain and hand-work to see on their site.

Urban Hardwoods was founded in 2002 to reclaim urban trees and to make enduring furniture that honors the natural beauty of the wood. (The company) grew naturally out of the vision of ... founder Jim Newsom, who began salvaging beached logs with his tugboat from the shores of Elliot Bay in the late 1990s. What he discovered in the process of acquiring and using urban wood is the incredible beauty of local trees. Combining these materials with fresh designs and exceptional craftsmanship is a synergistic endeavor with delightful results.

Classic Woodsmith

GamblelqtrMike Skertich recently added a line of Greene & Greene-inspired designs to his various A&C patterned products. Named after some of the great bungalow neighborhoods of the west, his Hillcrest, Westmoreland, Piedmont and Arroyo tables include more delicate features than his previous work and many small details - from cloud lifts to inlays and plugs - taken from Greene & Greene. Mike also produces a few light fixtures [1 / 2], a clock, a tall cabinet and a Tichenor-styled bench  in a very recognizeable Greene & Greene style.

ID me, please!


Reader Rosemary asks if anyone could help her identify or value this tabouret that has been in her family for some time, and which she recently received from her aunt. The almost-unreadable label on the underside says "Stickley Brothers Company," and she tells us that "Gustav Stickley" is also stamped on the underside. In my very limited experience I had not seen the two marks together. She's interested in knowing when the item was made, its proper name or number, and what it might be worth. I will forward her any information sent to me.

Edwin Lutyens


A greatly admired craftsman whose masterworks contrasted - at least in the public imagination of the time - with his somewhat unorthodox public persona and his terrific sense of humor, Edwin Lutyens was an architect, furniture designer, populist and great joke-teller. Often said to be the single person most responsible for the planning and construction of New Delhi's entire city center (and the master plan that was followed in that city well into the 1970s), Lutyens is perhaps best known today for the Viceroy's House, a particularly impressive landmark which is now the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President of India. Lutyens is also responsible for St. Jude's, one of the prettiest churches in the UK . Dozens of his finest structures still stand today in London and elsewhere. His influence to the Arts & Crafts movement is, unfortunately, often under-reported. His skill at integrating monumental scale and classical motif with the simple and straightforward, and his tremendous respect for the craftspeople who worked under him and a very strong belief in the importance of craft and handwork frequently made its way into the details of his buildings. Candia Lutyens continues the family business with her design firm in London today; she specializes in building many items of furniture designed by her grandfather, work that was shadowed by his more well-known skill as architect.


Pete Maloney in Norcross GA points us to his site, which in addition to links to the dealers' various auctions also includes a collaborative antique shop that brings together selected items from a number of different dealers. Selections from Stuart Solomon's wonderful shop in Northhampton MA are featured, as are pottery and metalwork items from Jack Pap; Barbara Gerr, a dealer in Roseville pottery out of Absecon NJ is also part of the group, as are Pearce Fox / Fox Mission in Philadelphia and webmaster Pete Maloney himself, who specializes in all sorts of Arts & Crafts ceramics.

Trolling Craigslist for Bargains

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.

Searching for a Desk

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:

Purdy's Furniture & Cabinetry


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.

Sotheby's: Greene & Greene

GreenelightRich 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.

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.

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.

Affordable Craftsman Furniture

Many people keep asking me to write about affordable (what a subjective term!) Craftsman-style furniture. Anything made by a craftsman with excellent materials won't be cheap - it can't be. And I hesitate to call some of the reproductions out there, made of fruit woods and veneers "Craftsman," even if they look it - that's an insult to the great craftspeople who today are creating pieces that will be passed down for generations. BUT! There are pieces out there that you can afford. With the aesthetic (if not the spirit) of the A&C movement in mind, let me suggest a few options.

Continue reading "Affordable Craftsman Furniture" »

built-in cabinetry & interior architecture

Creative and technically adept cabinetmakers used to be the norm, and they still exist, albeit in small numbers compared the the number of new homes being built every year. Unfortunately, we see this craft becoming more and more the sole purview of kitchen design firms and very high-end contractors who specialize only in kitchen and bath work. Most homes are not made by the same sorts of craftspeople who built our old bungalows; they're assembled from pieces made in factories all over the world. There are, however, a number of fine woodworkers specializing in casework and other forms of built-in furniture for all parts of the home and various other types of interior architecture working across the North America today, and I've spent a little bit of time reading up on a few who have their work up on the web to peruse.

This list is, of course, very incomplete and totally subjective; please feel free to append other listings in the comments, below.

Continue reading "built-in cabinetry & interior architecture" »

wanted: dresser

I need a good, solid Craftsman bedroom dresser. Wide and not too tall, maybe a 8 drawer (4 and 4) or 9 drawer (3/3/3) design, without a lot of decoration. Any suggestions for a well-made piece for under $1500?

Tom Stangeland & Steve Helberg:
Arts & Crafts Master Artisans in Pacific NW

ChinahutchWhen we moved into our home in 1998, we decided to furnish our main floor with Arts & Crafts furniture. We saw Tom Stangeland's Greene & Greene dining room table (modeled on one in the Blacker House in Pasadena) at NW Fine Woodworking here in Seattle and this was (to quote Casablanca) the "beginning of a beautiful [creative] friendship."

Continue reading "Tom Stangeland & Steve Helberg:
Arts & Crafts Master Artisans in Pacific NW" »

San Francisco open studios

Vince-Meyer-TablesMany communities throughout the Bay Area hold an "open studio" weekend (or week, or, in the case of this month-long 29th annual event in San Francisco, month!), where a large number of artists - sometimes hundreds - open their workspaces to visitors. This is a great way to discover new artists and designers, and to find wonderful work at low prices. This year's event in San Francisco will take place from 11 am to 6 pm every Saturday and Sunday throughout the month of October at more than 800 studios across the city; each weekend a new neighborhood of studios will open its doors to visitors, culminating with the huge number of open studios at the now-decommissioned Hunters' Point Naval Shipyard.

pictured: Vince Meyer's Japanese-influenced tables

catalog & mail-order hardware

2004catalogThere are a number of fantastic paper resources out there for anyone renovating their craftsman home. One of the most complete resources is the Van Dykes Restorers free catalog, which sells everything from Victorian gingerbread to oak and brass registers and every kind of stripping and finishing product known to humankind. They also carry kits for building a wide variety of furniture items.

At the top of the list as far as quality goes is Rejuvenation Hardware, which sells all sorts of fixtures and hardware (especially lighting!) out of their shop in Portland. They also do a thriving mail-order business.

The folks of the Craftsman Homes Connection, who seem to do most of their business online now, have a very attractive and jam-packed catalog, with an emphasis on decorative hardware and accessories. 21st-Century Arts & Crafts

cherylwilliamsBuilding on the Arts & Craft movement of an earlier time, is a treasure trove of current artists working in metalwork, ceramics, printmaking, painting, fiber, glass, wood, lighting, furniture and tableware.

The Arts & Crafts masters of yesteryear would have enthusiastically approved of The Guild's Philosophy: In a nutshell, we believe that when you live with art that you love, and it's made by a gifted artist with skill and care, it adds something rich and sweet to your life, every day.

Continue reading " 21st-Century Arts & Crafts" »

Treadway & Toomey auctions

metal-vaseAuctions have come a long way in the last few years. Treadway & Toomey, one of the largest of the antiques auction houses to specialize in American Arts & Crafts, has one of their largest auctions of the year coming up on September 12 at their gallery in Oak Park. The online portion of the auction is presented using technology from and will occur live on Ebay. Over 1000 lots of furniture, artwork and other decorative items will be sold, and you can preview the lots online. As at any Treadway & Toomey auction, there are some really gorgeous items up for sale.


armoire-clothesSomeone recently gave me a subscription to Natural Home magazine, which focuses most of its editorial attention on supposedly "green" building techniques and furniture/accessories made using various renewable resources. Eco-Furniture, a subsidiary of The Green Culture, caught my eye with an ad showing an attractive Craftsman armoire. They claim to use mostly "Certified" renewable woods, Poly-Wood (an amalgam made mostly from recycled plastics and wood byproducts) and other materials and no toxic-outgassing adhesives, and that none of their manufacturing and assembly processes produce environmentally-damaging materials.

Their craftsman collections, made of (I'm assuming farmed) mahogany and oak, look sturdy and are priced affordably. [ bed / buffet / dining table ]

Sunil from Eco-Furniture tells us that they will give a $25 discount if you mention that you saw them here on Hewn and Hammered.

Craftsmen and Letterers

namasteMartin O'Brien and John Stevens create, together, some of the most stunning carved lettering I've ever seen. I don't know how many of you go crazy over this sort of thing, but typography and lettering have always been huge interests of mine since I was quite young and their work really resonates with me. Martin O'Brien writes that John, his "partner-in-crime," does all the design and layout work and that without him Martin wouldn't be able to carve his way "out of a wet paper bag," which is humble but I am sure not wholly true.

Martin is also a well-known cabinetmaker, and even in this field their collaboration has had an effect. From pieces that expertly combine the art of the letterer and the craft of the wood- and stoneworker, to Martin's own wonderfully detailed furniture design, building, repair and conservation work (much of which expresses both classical and modern Craftsman style), their work is a real treat. I hope to see much more work from this remarkable partnership.

Mass-market (i.e. cheap) Arts & Crafts furniture

barrel-chairFolks have asked that we put some emphasis on affordable Craftsman furniture. There are a lot of budget-priced items available from the big box and web-catalog retailers, which is an easy way to add A&C touches to your home. Most of it is not handmade or even hand-finished; this is mass production, the polar opposite of the craftsman ethos. But hey, it looks pretty!

Continue reading "Mass-market (i.e. cheap) Arts & Crafts furniture" »