Stick to Stickley?

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Forum topic by CaptainSkully posted 08-29-2008 12:51 AM 1162 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1607 posts in 3796 days

08-29-2008 12:51 AM

I’ve read all of treefrogfurniture's blog, and he brings up an interesting point about sticking only to actual Stickley designs. I would love to fill my home with authentic Stickley reproductions, but sometimes I find a design, or make up my own in AutoCAD that isn’t a true Stickley. Given the time constraints, the expense, and the emotional investment in building pieces of furniture, I’m giving serious thought to only doing Stickleys. I’ve got the catalog and the books by Lang, so I could spend the next several years cranking out Stickley repros, with maybe a Greene & Greene thrown in for balance. However, I’m almost done with a very nice gentleman’s chest that is similar to Stickley’s #627, but it has an asymmetrical cabinet on one side with four small drawers opposing it. What does everybody think about being a purist or just building what you like?

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

6 replies so far

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

499 posts in 4020 days

#1 posted 08-29-2008 01:24 AM

If you’re building for yourself, build what you want. Stickley changed pieces from time to time, why not you? If you’re building for a customer, build what he (or she) wants. Houses were layed out differently 100 years ago. Lifestyles are different. Authentic reproductions have their place, but so do pieces based on the originals.


View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 3951 days

#2 posted 08-29-2008 01:25 AM

sometimes it’s fun to follow the directions and sometimes it’s to wing it. i also do both.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3982 days

#3 posted 08-29-2008 02:04 AM

I’ve built some that are very close to the originals. Like Tim P said, you build what the customer wants. I like to keep the essence of the Stickley furniture, or Arts and Crafts style in general. I find myself starting to come up with my own designs, combining the styles of several of the old timers and incorporating some more contemporary design elements. I don’t like building exact replicas, mainly to avoid trying to pass off antiques.

View daveintexas's profile


365 posts in 4114 days

#4 posted 09-02-2008 08:08 PM

I agree with with tenontim. I would much rather build a piece of furniture that has the essence of a Stickly style, but incorporates my own designs as well. Not to mention, my love for A&C extends to the Limbert, and Byrdcliffe styles as well, just not limited to Stickly.
They are more of a souce for inspiration, rather them methodology.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3823 days

#5 posted 09-02-2008 09:43 PM

I believe if you copy something exactly then you should do so as a purist, but I mostly design stuff myself with a little help from my betters. Stealing or llong term borrowing others ideas as we all do makes us more creative at the end of the day. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View bbqking's profile


328 posts in 3962 days

#6 posted 09-02-2008 09:54 PM

If you build enough Stickley, or any A&C style, your own personality sneaks in whether you are aware of it or not. daveintexas is correct about the inspiration thing. I love the A&C “style”, and that is all I build, with the exception of a few gun racks that have been accompanied by substantial bribes. Any way, you always have to mess with things like leg height (to match modern sofas & etc.), then change other measurements to keep correct proportions, use different woods than purists would find correct, and sometimes create “Stickley” out of thin air because the customer wants something that Stickley or any A&C stylist never did. These last items are the most fun, because when they are completed, they could be right there in that catalog, but you did it yourself. Folks that build A&C a lot know the feel, the look, and the presence of a correctly built piece. It doesn’t have to be in a catalog or book. That’s what the movement was all about, anyway. As always, bbqKing

-- bbqKing, Lawrenceville

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