Saturday, October 31, 2009

Why Furniture? Why A Blog?

So where did it start, this unhealthy obsession with furniture?

I suppose for me it was on a Tuesday morning, in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, when I found an odd group of shopkeepers, gentry, and opportunists gathering at auction. Sure, they were paying for all these treasures, but the cost seemed disproportionately low for what they were buying. Because in my eyes they were getting more than furniture, they were getting little bits of history.

A Mahogany table, fresh from a local country house, mixed with an oaken chest bearing the date ‘1676’. Trays of silver, stamped with a complicated form of medieval semaphore, sat under countless rustic copies of “The Haywain” (This was, don’t forget, Constable Country.) Each piece was different; each piece showed the individual mark of the craftsman who made it.

I needed to have some, and when I returned to the states, I wanted to make some. The way I see it, no one remembers the best accountants of the renaissance, but they do remember the best artisans. And though my journey is only several years old, I’ve chosen to start it from the same place as my favorite aspiring artist – Combray.

My blog has been inspired by several others that have helped to elevate the discussion of furniture and craftsmanship/craftswomanship to a more civil and friendly level -- The Village Carpenter by Kari Hultman , Working Wood by Tom Fidgen, In The Woodshop by Derek Cohen, Philsville by Phil Edwards and the writings of Christopher Schwartz.  I hope that my contributions can continue in that spirit.  Enjoy.