When I was a self employed furniture maker and cabinetmaker I didn’t have much choice about what I would build, it was mostly a matter of what a client wanted and was willing to pay for. For the last 9 years, I’ve been building mostly pieces I want to build for my day job at Popular Woodworking Magazine. One of my favorites is from 2007, a mahogany reproduction of the Gustav Stickley Poppy Table. It’s a rare piece, from early in Stickley’s career and most people are a bit surprised to discover who designed it, and that the design is more than 110 years old.
It’s hard to make the claim that Gus Stickley could only design heavy, clunky, rectilinear furniture when you see this little gem. In addition to being a favorite of mine, it has also been a favorite of the magazine’s readers. I received more mail and pictures about this project than any other I’ve made for the magazine.
The Stickley Poppy Table is one of the projects featured in my new book “Classic Arts & Crafts Furniture: 14 Timeless Designs”. One of the ongoing challenges of writing for a magazine is fitting everything in 6 pages. One of the nice things about the new book is that the whole thing is a fresh design. My publisher didn’t just take the original articles and combine the files into book form. Because of this, the book looks very nice, but that’s not the best part. For me there are two things that I especially like; the pictures are much larger than they were when originally published and extra images and text that originally appeared online in the Popular Woodworking Editor’s blog are now included with the original articles.
The chapter on building the Poppy Table takes eight pages in the book, and the drawings that were jammed into a corner in the original article now are on their own page, at a reasonable size. There are four extra pages in the book chapter, that were on the blog, along with additional photos of the hub that connects the legs below the top, and how I worked the edges.
The image at left is a quick photo taken from my preview copy of “Classic Arts & Crafts Furniture: 14 Timeless Designs”. It’s a view of the pages that were originally a blog post that begins with a story about when my son was in Cub Scouts and ends with how I made decisions about what methods and tools to use in this project, or in any project.
You can purchase a signed copy of this book directly from me by clicking here The kid is now in college (one more year to go) and my family and I greatly appreciate all purchases made from this web site.
Here is a link to a story in American Bungalow about an original Poppy Table that was rescued from a cruel fate.