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Brief history of Mission/Arts and Crafts furnture...an answer to MsDebbieP question

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Blog entry by Dusty posted 2594 days ago 910 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

MsDebbieP.

With out igniting a huge debate that is better suited for a complete blog series that would explore the history of the many styles of furniture we see here on lumberjacks, I will attempt to answer in the shortest and simplest way I can, your question.

3.” what is “Arts & Craft” as opposed to…. any other style mentioned on here (Yes, I admit it, I have no decorating style info in my brain”

This really began in the 1860’s in England. It came from the ideas of philosopher John Ruskin and a designer and poet named William Morris. These men were considered to be very influential thinkers during the medieval times. They believed that society would benefit from a economic return in which workers were valued, for there great skills as craftsman. They believed that high quality natural materials combined with meticulous detail, high standards and uncompromising values were to be held in high esteem. Pride of workmanship and a sense of accomplishment, along with the use of ones hands and good design, were of great social value that came with well made goods.

This movement called the Arts and Crafts movement mostly rejected the coming of age of the machine, to perform the tasks that hand tools did previously.

The notable exception to this was an Englishman named Christopher Dresser. He believed that machines were good when they were used to relieve the drudgery and painful slow steps involved in only the use of hand tools. However, he believed that machines could and should be used when the rest of the work was done with love with the use of ones hands.

It was only the rich that could afford the completely hand made pieces. The middle class were mostly excluded because of this until the machine combined with the hand work made it possible to afford the various pieces of furniture. In essence it became the start of the marriage of modern tools and hand work we see today in fine furniture building.

The name mission furniture was coined by a New York furniture manufacture and retailer named Joseph McHugh. He named this rustic style furniture that had straight simple lines and used slats and distinctive other design tendencies that became known later as mission furniture. The blending of both this mission style and what was already known as Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, became more refined later with the likes of Gus Stickley, Hubbard, Frank Lloyd Write and many others.

Stained glass was very profound influence and was widely used amongst the crafts people to win favor of the rich and royalty that lead to life time commissions. This enabled them to practice there crafts threw out there life.

I have gone way beyond what I am sure you wanted for a answer. Please forgive me because when I was doing my apprenticeship under a master stain glass craftsman, knowing the history of the period was not only required, it was essential so you could do authentic repairs for that period, but to incorporate it into your modern day designs with out compromising the history.

My instructor was and is a stickler for the history.

If I thought anyone was interested for a minute in the history and Martin wouldn’t kick me out of lumberjacks I would do a blog series on the history of all the furniture and include several pieces of stain glass that I have did and others that incorporate woodworking.

Thank you for asking the question.

-- Dusty



16 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18614 posts in 2667 days


#1 posted 2594 days ago

a great answer!! Enough info to give me an appreciation of the term and not so long that I started to see “blah blah blah”.
Every word was of interest to me.
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my question. I’m sure that as the LJ site grows that I won’t be the only person who could benefit from this info.

Thanks again Dusty.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 2833 days


#2 posted 2594 days ago

Without the heart, there is no link between the mind and the hand.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View Dusty's profile

Dusty

785 posts in 2662 days


#3 posted 2594 days ago

MsDebbieP.

Your welcome.

Ask and you shall receive.

One of the great assets of this sight is the ability to ask questions and get the answers to your questions.

I learn something new ever day in here.

-- Dusty

View Dusty's profile

Dusty

785 posts in 2662 days


#4 posted 2594 days ago

Scottb

And in my opinion it wouldn’t be referred to a “piece” of furniture with reverence. It would come in pieces and we would all be cussing while assembling it and making derogatory comments.

Only to throw it out in very little time.

Our “pieces” are handed down generation after generation.

That is how we get a history, to refer to, embrace, copy and remember rather than full landfills.

-- Dusty

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 2833 days


#5 posted 2594 days ago

agreed… just a quote that could be about the arts and crafts movement as a human reaction to the mechanized, victorian age.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2805 days


#6 posted 2594 days ago

Very interesting Dusty, keep the blogs coming.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 2743 days


#7 posted 2594 days ago

It’s your Blog, and I’ll bet dollars to donuts that Martin is going to cheer you on.

Very informative and it only helps the Lumberjocks as a community.

how’s the family?

Now… back to Ms D.

View Dusty's profile

Dusty

785 posts in 2662 days


#8 posted 2594 days ago

Obi,

Thank you for asking.

That is exactly what I was talking about, when I was referring to the hidden assets of this site. All the decent people here

.You know its been a struggle for me with all that is going on with my elder parents and Ms D.

You asked how they were doing, I know you care.

That helps the burden. Thank you.

Right now things are as well as can be expected. I just enjoy the moments.

I am about to post two more chapters to “This Old Crack House”, but Internet Explorer is not being very cooperative

I am going to switch to FireFox. Its much better. This takes time to convert all my passwords.

-- Dusty

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 2743 days


#9 posted 2594 days ago

FIrefox will take everything from IE when you install it. I installed it yesterday

Still have a few problems with this site but not nearly as bad or as often

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8699 posts in 2605 days


#10 posted 2594 days ago

Dusty, I find the history very interesting. I find myself studying the history more and more because it gives me a greater context of the design. You start to understand how art, architecture, and furniture are all related. They are all expressions of a given moment in history, influenced by the philosophies, ideals, politics, and technologies of the day.

A great place to visit is the Roycrofter village in Aurora, New York. This is just east of Buffalo and is rich with the Arts and Crafts history. There a connection to the start up of the community and the introduction of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural commissions around Buffalo.

Understanding the historical context of furniture will increase your ability to design.

Love your work Dusty.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Karson's profile

Karson

34798 posts in 2906 days


#11 posted 2594 days ago

Dusty. Thanks for the History leesson. ANd yes we’d like more.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18614 posts in 2667 days


#12 posted 2594 days ago

“piece of furniture” as in “ONE PIECE
store-bought furniture comes in PIECES

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Dusty's profile

Dusty

785 posts in 2662 days


#13 posted 2593 days ago

Todd Clippinger.

I agree with your comments.

I also would like to point out that so much furnture building today is built offshore and with machines. The rich heritages and history is eroding with this change.

These masters who produced this and the masterpieces that exist today will not only become more valuable over time but cherished and sought after.

When is the last time you heard of a family fight over a chair that was made out of pressed paper in Twain.

Today’s Lumberjocks, are building tomorrow’s priceless heirlooms.

-- Dusty

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18614 posts in 2667 days


#14 posted 2593 days ago

our cultures are all slowly disappearing :(

Thank goodness there are still woodworkers who love their hand tools… and will teach their children to love them as well

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Dusty's profile

Dusty

785 posts in 2662 days


#15 posted 2593 days ago

MsDebbieP

You know there is a lot of truth to what you said. I also think its important we pass along our talents. I feel strong that its as important to take a kid to the shop as it is to take them fishing or hunting.

I also feel its important to share our gifts and talents with anyone else who wants to learn them.

As you know I drive bus in a very urban setting which is less than safe. I also live on the fringes of a area that’s not exactly Disneyland. I say this only to point out, all the time I have lived here and drove bus I have never been attacked with a skill saw.

Give a kid a saw and some wood, and they will give you a reason to share your talents.

-- Dusty

showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

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