To The Best of My abilities.

Gustav Stickley and the

American Craftsman Movement.

 

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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?

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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.

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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

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#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” 

 

Miss Bane’s Bed!

After a year of a mattress on the floor, Miss Bane finally convinced me to build her a bed (she says it is ours).   It is made of new steel, a Clarendon Hotel balcony rail, reclaimed redwood, and some very serious bolts.  The wooden feet allow it to move easily on tile scratch-free.  The dramatically  tall height gives it an “Alice in Wonderland” feel.  I find myself inspired by Moorish tile work, so I put a “star of squares” in it.  With such solid construction, the bed is completely “rock free”.  Beds start around $900 (minus Moorish stars).

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Nice reclaimed redwood and Carriage bolts soften the appearance.

 

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Gusseted frame with serious bolts prevent “rocking”.

 

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Moorish 8 sided star represents harmony and balance. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Detail of star. (+ cat tail)

 

Featured Tiny Table

This tiny table is made from Ponderosa Pine from the Verde Vally. It is 16″ x 10″ and 18″ tall. Tiny tables are stylish and very functional, they sit in a corner and are easy to carry around a room. They hold plants, or beer well. It is a perfect first piece of custom Industrial craftsman furniture. At $65 there is no reason not to take this beautiful piece of handmade furniture home.

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It is 16″ x 10″ and 18″ tall.

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The building of Miss Bane’s dresser- day 1

Video

This video gives a little peek into my studio, my process and my life. With some old kitchen drawers found in the trash, I will build a dresser.