To The Best of My abilities.

Gustav Stickley and the

American Craftsman Movement.


me and gustav
Me at Craftsman Farms -Gustav Stickley’s home.


As I sit typing this from my own “stickley” Table, Lets discuss his influence on American culture and Furniture. Many people are familiar with the term “Craftsman” it invokes of bungalows and Historic neighborhoods, or maybe “Sears craftsman” But, how exactly did it become a movement in Art, Architecture, Design? One so ingrained in American society to be easily recognizable?


Steel inlay carved into my Stickley table.


One man did much of the heavy lifting, borrowing from Morris’ British “Arts and Crafts” , Gustav Sickley designed and built fine furniture made by men, not machines. It was intentionally simple, the beauty was in the honesty of materials and joinery. the complexity in the materials and methods, not in “False adornment”. It was real, solid wood, with quality joinery and functional designs.


stickley logo
My very real Stickley table I found in an alley, that led me to instigate “Arts and Crafts” 


Stickley  was also responsible for the publication of the iconic “American Craftsman” magazine which along with discussions on the current methods of wood and steel working, design trends and trade discussions. It also featured heavy political discussions of the day, he published works by Anarchist, Socialists and Libertarians. He saw a worker, as a craftsman who created a value and a beauty to society.


As Stickley was so am I committed to the honesty, and natural beauty of the materials, designs and workmanship. To Truly become an American Craftsman…Life is so short, the craft so long to learn…

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia to fill in the blanks…

Stickley’s new furniture reflected his ideals of simplicity, honesty in construction, and truth to materials. Unadorned, plain surfaces were enlivened by the careful application of colorants so as not to obscure the grain of the wood and mortise and tenon joinery was exposed to emphasize the structural qualities of the works. Hammered metal hardware, in armor-bright polished iron or patinated copper emphasized the handmade qualities of furniture which was fabricated using both handworking techniques and modern woodworking machinery within Stickley’s Eastwood, New York, factory (now a part of Syracuse, New York). Dyed leather, canvas, terry cloth and other upholstery materials complemented the designs.

Those ideals – simplicity, honesty, truth – were reflected in his trademark, which includes the Flemish phrase Als Ik Kan inside a joiner’s compass. The phrase is generally translated ‘to the best of my ability.’

His firm’s work, both nostalgic in its evocation of handicraft and the pre-industrial era and proto-modern in its functional simplicity, was popularly referred to as being in the Mission style, though Stickley despised the term as misleading. In 1903 he changed the name of his company again, to the Craftsman Workshops, and began a concerted effort to market his works – by then including furniture as well as textiles, lighting, and metalwork – as Craftsman products. Ultimately, over 100 retailers across the United States represented the Craftsman Workshops.


Grand Avenue Pizza Again…

Carson Wheeler, Friend, Pizza maker, and Wood Connoisseur…

Slabs of Cedar
Himalayan Cedar

The premise was simple “A contemporary twist on a picnic table”.  So, we started with two giant slabs of Himalayan Cedar…

Cedar Close up
At 2 1/2 inches thick, this was a massive chunk of wood.

Then I cut one slab in half to make the benches, leaving the second slab intact for the top…


Next comes the all too familiar X frames with a steel  30-degree take on an old classic.

Pizza Maker
We have a picnic Table

And Carson was happy… The End.




Tiny Tables Series 5

I am very proud to present Tiny Tables Series 5. William Morris said,”Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” and I believe Series 5 fits the bill for both.

industrialcraftsman_tinytable_adjuster_IMG_1631 copy
New hand made adjuster.

Series 5 represents natural beauty, rebirth, and hope. Its construction is based on a butterfly sculpture I have been working on, and the legs mirror the angles I use for wings. Combined with all repurposed materials, Series 5 will be recreated over-and-over using a variety of materials while keeping the design the same.

Series 5 #1 and #3 feature removable X-ray cartridge tops as well as a handmade adjustor and walnut feet.

Dimensions 11″ x 13″ x 20″ // Price $113

#2 features solid steel top.


Series 5 #2 has a reclaimed steel top, eye bolt adjustor.

Dimensions 14″ x 14″ x 21″ // Price $113


“Tiny Tables Series 5— Own Something Beautiful” 


Tiny Tables!!!

Tiny Tables: Beautiful, Simple and Useful.

One of my favorite things about making each piece individually by hand is how different and unique each piece really is. From the materials I am using, to the way I feel, and the designs that are in my head. Each piece is a truly unique experience, and a great way to watch the evolution is through the tiny tables. Let’s look back at the evolution of tiny tables.

These are from the first series of Tiny Tables. Under the ZOO name, this was an original set of ten, built at The Hive Phoenix. Do you have one?

Series two Tiny Tables were slightly larger due to the barn wood I was using at the time. All steel was “Urban Foraged”.  There were originally five in this series, made under the ZOO label, and built at the Hive Phoenix.  Do you have one?

Series three was similar to series one, but were numbered 1-12.

Series four tiny tables were the first under the new ‘Industrial Craftsman Furniture” label, featured a stenciled W on the bottom and were part of a full collection called “Industrial Revolution”.  There were 3 of each piece in this collection, the first collection built at “the cottages”…

This series included 5 pieces and were cut offs from the patio tables I did for the Tempe Buttes Marriott. They were built at the cottages and were the first to feature a carved-W  signature instead of spray paint stencilled.


Two Tiny tables and a saw blade table I built In Ghent NY.

As you can see, over time my style has developed and changed. There are many more “Tiny tables” out there but I do not always get/keep photos. Do you have one? Post a photo.

NY_Rhinebeck Pilates

Spring is a wonderful time in NY, the weather warms up, the flowers bloom…and stuff gets built.

Rhinebeck is an adorable hamlet on the Hudson river about an hour and a half north of the city, it features colonial and gothic architecture, cute, bustling shops and an amazing Pilates studio.

I had the privilege of building the front desk for said amazing studio, in this charmed hamlet. It started with locally sourced, spalted Maple that was beautifully figured and had dark lines of “spalting”. Then, I added some birch Plywood to match the existing furniture. The final step was creating a “charging station” where students could leave their cell phones, while escaping into the Pilates peace of mind.




Bar and Bench.

 Douglas Fir Bar and Bench

Reclaimed wood from the white mountains, steel legs adjuster foot. It is 5’2″ long 34″ tall and 13″ wide…

Available now.

Industrial Craftsman Furniture Steel and wood bench with matching bar Handmade By Bill Hemphill

Step by step hand Bill’t…

The Buttes!!!

Phoenix Marriott Tempe at The Buttes

Three months ago I was asked to sketch up a few designs for the Buttes and see about building a few new tables for their patio. They liked what I presented. After a few meetings and conversations I started the build out. Working with some local saw mills (and one in Oregon), I set out to find the perfect wood. I chose many varieties: Black Acacia, three types of Mesquite, White Ash, Arizona Elm, Oregon Cottonwood, Maple, Grenadino, and Aleppo Pine. Next, I set out to design the bases, using 1 1/2 and 2″ square tube steel with wood inserts, one adjustable.  I trussed them in four unique ways using some custom iron, antique fence pieces, some bar stock and some unique craftsmanship.  Each table base is its own while following a common theme, so they match without being the same.  For the wood, I used some live edge and free forms, as well as cut some square.  By following the nature in each piece, the tops formed themselves into color and shape, contrast that gives the pieces even more dimension. The rustic, clean look fits well with the modern restaurant architecture set in rocks amidst a cactus garden.  Being given so much artistic freedom this project embodies the Industrial Craftsman style.