Any books out there on making Usonian furniture?

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DavidC
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Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Any books out there on making Usonian furniture?

Post by DavidC »

Anyone aware of any books or articles (new or old) with plans for building Usonian-style furniture pieces - from things as "simple" as the built-in wall shelving, to the plywood-veneered tables, all the way to the complex Taliesin-type lamps?



Thank you.





David

EJ
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Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 8:24 pm

Post by EJ »

There are no books per se that I am aware of, but there are some plans for Usonian furniture that have been published, notably in the monographs, if you can get your hands on the right volume. Not an easy task to be sure. Plus, you would need to invest in a magnifying glass. The Susan Brades book "Affordable Dreams" about the Goetsch Winkler also has some plans for furniture, but, again, very tough to read even with a magifying glass.



My dad and I built two chairs from the plans in the Seth Peterson Cottage book, and I enjoy them immensely. They are much harder to build than they look, and my dad (a professional builder and developer) scoffs at the notion of field carpenters building them to Wright's plans. The cutting angles are tough to calculate.



Good luck....
"It all goes to show the danger of entrusting anything spiritual to the clergy" - FLLW, on the Chicago Theological Seminary's plans to tear down the Robie House in 1957

outside in
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Post by outside in »

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but Frank Lloyd Wright did not design the chairs for the Seth Peterson Cottage - the restoration architect designed the chairs to be compatible with the cottage, and adapted chairs that Wright designed in the late 1950's. Sorry.....

mike
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Kraus furniture

Post by mike »

From the tour I took at the Kraus home in St. Louis. The story goes that taliesin's workshops were building the furniture but were taking so long that Mr. Kraus asked permission to build some items himself.



He also built a "prairie style" prints table that is still in the home. Its very similar to the one in oak park and at the dana home in springfield ill. He was a very gifted artist but must have had access to an original or drawings at some piont to come up with this design.
St Louis

RJH
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Post by RJH »

Peterson's furniture is NOT Wright's design. The dining chairs, living room chairs and settle seating are John Eiffler, Restoration Architect's design. See Frank Lloyd Wright's Seth Peterson Cottage, pages 60-62.

EJ
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Post by EJ »

I know John Eifler designed them. But the question was about Usonian furniture, which they certaintly are. They are kick ass nonetheless!



And please, oh, please do not make this a thread about whether we can truly call it usonian if FLW didn't design it!
"It all goes to show the danger of entrusting anything spiritual to the clergy" - FLLW, on the Chicago Theological Seminary's plans to tear down the Robie House in 1957

DavidC
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Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Post by DavidC »

I want to thank everyone who replied to this thread. I recently picked up the Seth Peterson Cottage book and am enjoying reading it. And I hope someday to try my hand at (carefully) making a chair or two from Eifler's plans.



I also wanted to pass along a "find" for those who may have an interest in woodworking. There are some very good plans in a back issue of "American Woodworker" magazine (issue #110 - Oct. 2004) for what they term an "Arts and Crafts Table Lamp". It's actually one (made from mahogony w/ stained glass) that's very similar to - but not exactly the same as - this FLW-style lamp.



The link to AW magazine says that some of their past issues are still available for $5.00 and photocopies of specific articles are available for $3.00.





David

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Can anyone say when this lamp first appeared, either in drawings or in photographs ? Does it have a name other than what Cassina (or whoever) may have given it ?



SDR

pharding
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Post by pharding »

The fixture is called Taliesin 1. It is an officially licensed FLW product made by Yamagiwa. It dates to 1925.
Paul Harding FAIA Owner and Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, the First Prairie School House in Chicago | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

Deke
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Post by Deke »

Is there a particular piece of furniture you're interested in? I could try to track down the design in the Getty's collection of FLW documents here in LA.



Deke

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »

Is there a particular piece of furniture you're interested in? I could try to track down the design in the Getty's collection of FLW documents here in LA.



Deke




Thank you very much for the wonderful offer, Deke. But, I'm mostly interested to learn how much (if any) there may be published on Usonian or Usonian-like furniture.





David

Schuyline
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Post by Schuyline »

David,

Like you, I have been in search of Usonian plans myself. Not much luck either. A good friend of mine is building a Usonian style home that he has designed. He and I have been searching specifically for origami/butterfly chair plans. I have found two sites that make them. A former Taliesin apprentice at www.kormanwoodworks.com builds them. He only sells the finished product though.



But I have also found a site, www.fitzwilliam.com where another builder/designer Geoffrey Fitzwilliams makes them. He metioned on his site that plans may become available soon. Well I emailed him a year ago and they were not available. I emailed him again today and of course, I am waiting to hear if anything has changed.



I would encourage you to email Geoffrey about his Usonian furniture, maybe we can tag team him and get the ball rolling for the creation of some plans. Hopefully he will get the picture that people are interested in Usonian plans.
Onward and Upward,
Jason Ackman
Schuyline Art Glass

Richard
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:29 pm
Location: Illinois

Post by Richard »

For what this may be worth...



Several years ago there was a furniture shop in Highland Park, Illinois which sold Wright furniture including Usonian and Prairie pieces. I think it closed about three to four years ago. The furniture was of very high quality. I think the name of the store was the "Nelson Wright Gallery". Before closing the owner told me that he would be online to continue selling things after closing. I was never able to track the site down. He also told me that he had a person in Wisconsin who was doing the fabricating. If one could track down the owner, the plans might be tracked down as well. From what I remember, the pieces were all reproductions and not "in the style of".
Homeowner

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