Many of the Lumberjocks are talking part in the Thorsen Side Table Challenge in partnership with Popular Woodworking.
This project was the result of Michael, Karson and Mark. Of course Martin played a large role, which goes with out saying.
In addition to a woodworker and stained glass craftsman, I am a student of history.
I find it makes me a better student of woodworking and my other crafts when it comes to all styles of furniture regardless if I build them or embrace that style or period.
I would like to give a brief history lesson for those who may not be aware of the Greene’s brothers background it may help you to understand and appreciate the Thorsen piece a little more.
Charles Summer Green (1868-1957) and Henry Mather Greene (1870-1954) have designed some of the most sought after and memorable houses in Pasadena, California the brothers are well known for there fine custom furniture line which is sought after and collected today.
They were born in the Midwest but studied woodworking, metalworking, and toolmaking at Washington University in St. Louis. They studied architecture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
They worked as apprentices for various architects, but always yearned to be out on there own.
There influence is said to come from a trip out west they were taking, when they stopped at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. This was there first exposure to Japanese architecture. This became a turning point in there future furniture designs. They incorporated a heavy dose of Asian influence in almost all of all of there houses and furniture.
They were well known for there use of teak and mahogany, instead of quarter-sawn white oak. This was very different from the Arts and Crafts works of Stickley, and the Roycrofters.
There most famous design is the Gamble house in Pasadena. This was commissioned by David Berry Gamble in 1908 (of the Procter and Gamble family and business fame).
This house was once sold and was slated to have all the stunning mahogany and teak painted white. After the furniture went out of style most of it was sold in a garage sale in 1947 for pennies on the dollar. In 1985 another famous house they designed (Robert R. Blacker) was purchased and striped of its lights, stained glass windows, and doors. These were sold piece by piece to various collectors around the world. A number of the original pieces have not been accounted for today.
Strong efforts have been made, with mixed success, to locate these pieces so the can be purchased and returned to the original Gamble house. The Gamble house is now operated as a museum.