I received tickets to the tour the Sam Maloof foundation from my in-laws for Christmas, and we headed out for the tour today. The house and workshop are located in Alta Loma, California about 35 minutes from my house. You can’t take photos inside, but I took a few outside and through the windows.
The house and workshop were moved from their prior location in 2000. They built a new house as well as a little bookstore, and an art gallery.
View of the facilities with mountains in the background.
Passageway with bamboo.
A peek into the workshop.
Sam’s garden gate.
Garden Gate Latch
A peek into the house.
As we toured the house we were allowed touch the furniture. I had seen many pieces at museums and in his auto-biography, but touching the work was amazing. The finish is flawless. Silky smooth and natural grain.
The finale: We got to sit in a Maloof armchair. Very comfortable; great lumbar support! I highly recommend a visit.
Sam Maloof supports other people’s art as well. It would be easy for a rich and famous guy to only say: look and me and my work. However, the house is filled with other people’s art: local artists, both famous and up and coming artists, street artists, his friends. The foundation, in fac,t accepts art from unknown artists. Write a letter to Sam for consideration in the new gallery.
Using what you have
Sam reminds me of my wife’s grandfathers who would be/ are from the same generation. Nothing is or was wasted, and they would never live outside of their means.
When Sam was starting out, the house was a tiny guest keepers cottage. He had no furniture until he made some. According to the tour, he refused to go into debt to buy wood or expand his home. Therefore the house is built with recycled materials galore. Also, the early pieces are made of less wood then you would think. His early kitchen table has a cork top, and then many of these pieces were upholstered. Now that he has money, he works in exotic hardwoods as well as the traditional walnut.
If you have never read his auto-biography, it is a great picture of his early life and influences with a strong theme of the love and support his wife offered him as a woodworker. Very inspiring.
-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke." www.flickr.com/photos/gizmodyne