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JOEL Joel's Blog



Artisanal! 4When people ask me where I got my walnut A&C settles I used to tell them I made them a long time ago. And then most people would stare and me and say "that's nice" and just move away slowly to talk to my wife. Most people, even well meaning ones, can't really relate to homemade furniture - even nice stuff.

I'm changing my tune.

The next time someone asks me where I got my sofas (actually nobody calls them settles) I will say the following:
"They are locally sourced from a maker who uses 100% US made natural materials following a traditional vocabulary of form first expressed in the late 19th century by Gustav Stickley and other contemporary designers."

I know, I know, it's a mouthful and unless I figure out how to stick the word "artisanal" into the patter, I'm going to lose all credibility. Any thoughts?

Join the conversation
08/06/2013 Adam
If you can somehow use the terms 'gluten free wood' and 'organically grown' you'll get bonus points in my book.
08/06/2013 Doug
Just say Ikea and see if there response changes at all.
08/06/2013 Dennis
Hahahaha... nice one Adam!
08/06/2013 Jack Palmer
I can relate, I've gotten similar responses. With that come back you'll probably have them asking to give you the builders name so they can have something tha nice made.

Please post a picture. Love to see the "sofas" in Walnut, may give me some ideas. I' ve used the traditional White Oak and Maple for Arts and Crafts furniture but not as yet Walnut.
08/06/2013 Kent
Photos? Did I miss the photos?
08/06/2013 Ray
I think you should include a picture of them here!
08/06/2013 Stan
They are locally sourced from an artisanal maker.....
08/06/2013 Jeff Peachey
Dude, you also need "handmade"!
08/06/2013 Marshall
Funny. When I tell visitors I made the Arts and Crafts coffee tables, waste basket, coat tree, etc. in my living room they are impressed.

You need to find new friends.
08/06/2013 Dean
Joel, I'm pretty sure when you use your new phraseology, they will just move away slowly to talk to your wife.
Here's the (not very good picture) picture. it's 8 feet long. and one of two walnut settles I built - the order being 6'
08/06/2013 Jay
Its not quite 'artisanal' but still sounds fancy enough

"They are sourced from a local artisan who hand made them from 100% US made natural materials following a traditional form first expressed in the late 19th century by Gustav Stickley and other contemporary designers."
Nice sofa. That is on my 5 year build plan. Did you use a plan, pictures, or what? I don't need a 3d model, but I would like some nice pics to use as a starting point. thanks for posting.
08/06/2013 Bill Melidones

I lost a lot of credibility when I told my friends that Ikea products are made from termite poop.

And no amount of fine handmade furniture is going to change that.

I do agree with the above comment about "gluten free" and "organically grown wood" though.

"It's like being in Europe a little bit, but here."
08/06/2013 John
I like your inclusion of "traditional vocabulary of form". I'd suggest throwing in either "bespoke" or "unknown craftsman" somewhere those are always sure to impress. Or, take another tack and simply say that "the piece came from the collective unconscious, yet provides a visual metaphor for Claude Levi-Strauss' advocacy for structuralism in anthropology." (Google and Wikepedia are great sources for stuff to throw into artist statements.) Nice settle by the way.
08/06/2013 John Callaway
funniest thing I have all day. Its sad the you have to basically use hipster dialect to get people interested in a craft that is far older than most any other trade.
08/06/2013 KEN Kennedy
Possibly "an Algorean segue on ultra Nakashimaism"
08/06/2013 Ben Nevis
I suggest you work into your statement something about 'pallet wood' or 'waste stream' or 'repurposed.'
08/06/2013 Rudolph
"Handmade by the indigenous peoples of... wherever."
08/08/2013 Eric Rusch Sr
Throw "master craftsman" in there as well. That always gets a nod of
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