Today's blog comes from David Ramsey, Central Library staff:
Do you find today’s mass market furniture too commonplace? Are you looking for seating with a unique style? Are you bored with IKEA ubiquity?
Check out a recent addition to the Arts collection: Furniture with Soul: Master Woodworkers and their Craft by David Savage.
The author, whose work is also profiled, delves into the lives and work of ten furniture makers. No assembly-line designs for them; these creative types eschew the ordinary. For these artisans, form follows function – but at a distance and with a detour or two.
These innovators tapped their imaginations in the creation of a wide range of furniture. And what imaginations they have! Inspiration comes from many sources including nature, civil engineering and modern media.
These talented woodworkers could have followed the straight and narrow and produced conventional pieces; but something inspired them to change course, be it flora or fauna, whimsy or fantasy. They followed their hearts and forged a new path.
Their designs require labour-intensive, exacting work, not suited to endless copies. The pieces produced according to their heart’s calling are rich in detail which couldn't be justified on a purely functional chair or table for mass production.
Some call them furniture sculptors. Is their work art or craft? Can an art form have function?
Maybe it depends on the amount of soul….