Research Project...

I have been summoned to Chicago to build some Frank Lloyd Wright furniture for a Frank Lloyd Wright house; so, I am committing myself to a refresher course on the subject of the Arts and Craft era...an easy topic for a woodworker to become enamoured with. But, as we all know, the search engines are besieged by the commercial interests of the few...where's the duke of Url when you need him? Actually, I was delighted to find an entity that I was completely unaware of, in the guise of the Roycroft movement. Of course, there is Morris, and the Stickley brothers...who else? Personally, I think Frank was a lousy furniture designer... But, I am looking for help...any URL on the subject will be greatly appreciated. daclark
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Try these: http://www.cmgww.com/historic/flw/library.html
http://www.wag-aic.org/1998/WAG_98_kirschner.pdf
http://www.wpconline.org/fallingwater/museum/flw.htm
http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/1469/flw.html
http://franklloydwright.fws1.com/books.html
Bob S.

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http://www.woodworkersbookclub.com/index.cfm
--
Mike G.
Heirloom Woods
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On 8 Jun 2004 15:09:30 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (daclark) wrote:

FLloyd was a short little prick who designed interiors for midgets.
He knew nothing about engineering, which is proved by his magnum opus of FallingDownWater, which has a yearly maintenance budget in excess of the original cost of the house.
His furniture, such as it was, is a simulacrum and a perturbation of good design that was available at the time.
The rectilinear components of his design ethic, and the allegedly interesting cantilevers, run counter to the sense of form and balance that ruled the world of Architecture from before the time of Palladio and his referents.
FLloyd is the single most significant entity in the design of boring public architecture during the cultural dry period of the early and middle years of the twentieth century, which was most cogently and beneficially interrupted by the Art Demo practitioners of the twenties.
You can have FLloyd, Bauhaus, The International School, and all the other progenitors of boorish box architecture and design, and roll them into a cocked hat - for all the good they've done for the skylines of our cities. We've had to knock most of them down.
Sit in one of the man's chairs - even admitting his prior position to the understanding of ergonomics - they are a sad reflection on, and a de-constructed understanding of, what a normal human needs for comfort.
FLloyd is the triumph of line over practicality, and the melody to the sad song of lacking comfort.
Of course, if you are getting paid for it - the whole equation changes.
(cf. 'Who's bread I eat, his song I sing'.)
Good luck with your endeavor - I only wish that you were riding a better horse.
<the above is all based on hearsay, misunderstood conversations, photographs of dubious quality, gin, and personal opinion.>
Regards, Tom.
Thomas J.Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.) tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
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Tom Watson wrote:

I have to agree with you. He built the Larkin Building in Buffalo. He lied about his credentials to get the job.
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA (Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
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(daclark) wrote:

9snip of well-written egregious disaprobation re FLW)

No sh*t. 8-)
Actually Tom, I agree with you on the furniture. Even 30 seconds in one of Wright's chairs will impair you permanently. And he was short. There's a Wright-designed former restaurant near Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin that has an entryway with 6'4" ceilings. I'm 6'2" and had certain trapped-in-a-submarine feelings.
Other than that, I like his stuff. It's generally light, airy and human in scale. Raymond Chandler said in regard to writing that in the end, all that endures is style. In design, Wright had that down cold.
Bob
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(daclark) wrote:

Bob, He had his reasons for the small entryways, which I have experienced in the Hollyhock and Brown-Ennis homes in LA. Foremost, he wanted to enhance the feeling of expansion and space, going from the small entry to a much larger space. Secondarily, he hated for people to loiter in entrances, so made them less comfortable. SOME of his furniture is amazing in design, the folding library table or the couch with the built in end tables. I've also seen interlocking plywood crap a sixth-grader could have done better with at Taliesen West (Arizona).
Tom, As far as engineering, gotta agree. The Ennis-Brown house was built on a steep hillside, partly on flat ground created by a retaining wall and back fill with NO pylons either into the hill or down to bedrock. The whole thing had to be rebuilt at enormos expense. That same house, and many others, has a FLAT roof, which inevitably leaks and I think still does today. The current owners are trying to figure out how to preserve the cement block (known as "textile" block) and steel construction, as the steel is rusting away and the cement, made to an inferior mix, is crumbling. In other words, a very interesting house to look at built very cheaply. Good luck on your commission, it sounds interesting. Will you be building to Wright's plans or samples, or designing newly in the style?
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wrote:
|On 8 Jun 2004 15:09:30 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (daclark) wrote: | |>I have been summoned to Chicago to build some Frank Lloyd Wright |>furniture for a Frank Lloyd Wright house; so, I am committing myself |>to a refresher course on the subject of the Arts and Craft era...an |>easy topic for a woodworker to become enamoured with. |>But, as we all know, the search engines are besieged by the commercial |>interests of the few...where's the duke of Url when you need him? |>Actually, I was delighted to find an entity that I was completely |>unaware of, in the guise of the Roycroft movement.
The bio of Hubbard is fascinating. I have a signed and numbered copy of one of his publications, handed down from my grandmother.
http://www.roycrofter.com /
|>Of course, there |>is Morris, and the Stickley brothers...who else? |>Personally, I think Frank was a lousy furniture designer... |>But, I am looking for help...any URL on the subject will be greatly |>appreciated. |>daclark | |FLloyd was a short little prick who designed interiors for midgets.
Don't hold back Tom, tell us how you really feel.
| |He knew nothing about engineering, which is proved by his magnum opus |of FallingDownWater, which has a yearly maintenance budget in excess |of the original cost of the house.
No shit.
http://www.ce.memphis.edu/1101/interesting_stuff/fallingwaters.html
His own houses don't fare too well either.
http://english.sina.com/news/life/6463129.shtml
[snip]
|FLloyd is the triumph of line over practicality, and the melody to the |sad song of lacking comfort.
Some think he was also party to murder, although at the time he was alibied up in Chicago.
Our next door neighbor's parents live in Spring Green, WI and we have visited a couple of times. They have some of the original press clippings about the murders.
The FLW visitor center is full of cultists speaking in hushed tones about this "genius" and willingly spending considerable money to tour Taliesin. We've taken a pass.
P.T. Barnum was right.
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To concatenate this thread with the current one on birdhouses:
I were thinking that a scale model of FallingDownWater would make a fine Bird House/Bird Feeder, perched on the edge of a bubbling birdbath.
The cantilevers would make fine feeding platforms for the birds, and FLoyds interiors are well suited to creatures of small stature.
My only unresolved issue is whether to allow the cantilevers to droop, as a form of homage to the paradigm - or to make them straight and true - as they must have looked upon the great man's drawing board.
Will post pix on ABPW upon completion.
<watson-who thinks that if FLoyd had used a little more irony in them cantilevers - he'd a been better off.>
Regards, Tom.
Thomas J.Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.) tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
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wrote:
[snip] |<watson-who thinks that if FLoyd had used a little more irony in them |cantilevers - he'd a been better off.>
ROTFLMAO
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Droop 'em. The execution is as important as the intent, after all.
djb
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...Eh, Watson??? Why the hyperbolic tirade of abuse against poor dead old Frank? In the time and place of his life, he egotistically held to a personal philosophy of design and commanded an elitist architectural trade; then, proceeded to crown himself the grand poobah to a cultist society, dedicated to his honor and glory, just like Charlie Manson...or perhaps, he was just living his trade...
I would reiterate...

Still, one cannot deny that his name is identified with certain key elements of design, good or bad. But, even the best of design is no more than creative plagarism. Thomas Chippendale is a name that resounds, not only through history, but throughout today's furniture industry...yet, every design that he is credited with can be traced to an earlier time and place. An acquaintance, who happens to be a seventh-generation woodcarver, once told me, if I tell you it is Chippendale, it is Chippendale...not by faithful reproduction of design, but rather, because I use the same tool and the same technique as taught to me by my great-grandfather, who was taught by his great-grandfather, who was there...in that time and place. The significance, of which, is illustrated in the treatise of the Boston master furnituremaker, that Greg provided a url to, in that the master, even a master industrialist like Chippendale, would not have time to pick up a tool himself; his time consumed by correcting the mistakes of others and chasing his clients for money...and therefore, not above plagarizing the expertise of one of his journeymen to effect a salable design.
Thus...

And then, even though...

...it doesn't mean I am going to go. If it is an elemental recreation of design, where I can input my own sense of proportion...perhaps.

Ah, Watson...it reminds me of the preacher who no longer believes in God, but is still willing to preach for a fee. Or perhaps, a retired woodworker, who still maintains a website for the display of past works, just in case. Or worse, a master of philosophy...who will not philosophize. It needn't be original thought, Watson, try creative plagarism...what are your thoughts on living trade? But, let's not get pissy...have some fun...even at my expense.
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But bad is bad, right?
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Dave Balderstone wrote in message

Indeed...and, of course, there is no guarantee that my own interpretations would be any better...or, that I would receive credit if they were... For comfort, I would take a well proportioned Morris chair with the accompanying foot stool. And, I like the design influences of Harvey Ellis, who worked for Stickley in 1903, but died after only nine months of employment. Stickley had a number of brothers, some who preceeded him into the arts and craft genre; and they owned a half-dozen companies between them, where it is calculated that some two-hundred people had contributed to product design. Yet, public credence allows Gustav to be responsible for an entire arts and crafts era, when in fact, he was more a beneficiary in time and place. Thomas Sheraton, whose name denotes an era of Greek Revival furnitures, was anything but a manufacturer. He apprenticed as a cabinetmaker, excelled at woodcarving, but had no workshop of his own. Sheraton made a meager living designing work for other manufacturers...living in a sawdusty house surrounded by his tools, he never made anything in his own name beyond the prototyping of his own concepts; but, has become synonymous with the genre by the several books he published, and a collection of his designs that found a publisher after his death. Now, I think, the Balderstone Era has a very likely ring to it...got any ideas?
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On 9 Jun 2004 20:14:40 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (daclark) wrote:

and your bona fides are shown, where?
Regards, Tom.
Thomas J.Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.) tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
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Tom Watson wrote in message:

my dear, Watson... are you not just skirting the issue, here? Perhaps, you should post the thesis, upon which, you were declared a master of philosophy. Or better yet, why not tell us about the event in your life that turned you out from the hedonistic halls of academia; and, how working wood has been your refuge. If philosophy was your meat, why is it now your gall? Your penchant for the defamation of character is well noted. I suppose, that if poor old dead FLW can take the heat, so can I...hell, I am honored; except, ya sneaked off to another thread to do it. I have visited your website, I told ya so. I saw some very good work, and enjoyed a couple of your articles. I enjoyed the poem you posted... What I don't understand, Watson, is after all your work, why would you deny the existence of a fundamental philosophy in the working of wood...were you not paying attention? Did you learn nothing? Such ignorance is uncomprehensible in a man with so much information within his grasp. If you are indeed curious, I would be happy to discuss my lignum vitae; but, prefer that such time be utilized in philosophical discussion; I do not need accolades over dead projects, or advise on which saw to buy. Yet, I come here to learn...and you say there is no philosophy. But, you are wrong.
No two men have the same set of tools, or the same set of experiences; therefore, no two men may have the same knowledge or understanding of working wood. No man is master, we are apprentices all of our lives. Thus, the working of wood is living trade; an infinite phenonomen.
If this basic premise is invalid, then prove it. Show us your bona fides...
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On 11 Jun 2004 14:46:48 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (daclark) wrote:
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"daclark" wrote in message ...

Douglas,
Although the navigation is a bit clunky at first, http://www.chipstone.org contains a great reference and pictures of items in their collection. Caution, you can get stuck in here just looking for quite a while.
Go here for an interesting read, the genre should appeal to you.
http://www.chipstone.org/publications/1993/Miller93/article.html
Greg
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Greg Millen wrote:

Uh, Greg, I don't mean to be a pain in the butt, but the Arts and Crafts movement started in the late 19th century and Wright did most of his work in the early 20th. He was still working when some of the older participants in this newsgroup were borne. Chipstone, while it looks to be a very useful resource, deals with an earlier era.

--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
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"J. Clarke" wrote in message ...

be
John,
Well, I got a good laugh out of this, what a dumbass I am. I can only plead a 13 hour day prior to the post, you are, of course, quite correct. Still, the reference is well worth the visit for anyone who hasn't been there before.
cheers,
Greg
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