In January 1902, Gustav Stickley suggested to readers of The Craftsman that they should examine furniture in the same way they would examine prospective friends, to look for moral and agreeable qualities in both. That may seem like an odd way to look at furniture, but walk into any furniture store and you’ll be surrounded by liars and frauds, pieces that may look nice at first glance but soon reveal their lack of substance, quality and good taste. What will become of us if we eat our meals and entertain our friends in such poor company?
A few lines later he writes of the good feelings that “possesses us whenever some one of our belongings affords us a moment of comfort or of aesthetic pleasure which we’ve have neither demanded or expected.” The effort to make a table and a set of chairs, or a sideboard or china cabinet requires a personal investment-of time, attention to detail, and dedication to the results. The resulting objects are far more than a seat and a surface for your dinner plate, they become a reminder of the value of building well and building to last. The best companions are those friends who can remind us of the best qualities within us. Craftsman furniture is that kind of companion.
This is an excerpt from the new edition of “Complete Book Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture”
Read “The Influence of Material Things” by Gustav Stickley in the January 1902 issue of The Craftsman