Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sam Maloof (1916 - 2009)

I did some research about Sam Maloof. The characteristics of his furniture look to be organic curves, classic elements and direct joins. Direct joining seems to be something he uses frequently and to great effect.

The main influences on his designs seem to be function and form, his designs evolved from classic furniture and his main goal is to create pieces that are pleasing to look at and use.

Wood is his main material and he uses it to great effect, each piece has individuality and incorporates the detail of the wood in the design, from surfaces to joints. Maloof definitely involves joinery and connections in his works, if a join is elegant he does not cover it up he shows it through the design of the piece.

He hand-made every piece and enjoyed creating all manner of furniture. Creating each piece by hand was definitely important to him as he felt that each piece would have a soul and a feel to it that factory produced furniture doe not have.

Sam Maloof's design philosophy was creating furniture that was nice to look at and comfortable to use. I would say the Sam Maloof was not trying to make a stand against pre-fabricated furniture he seemed mainly interested in keeping his own artistic integrity and produce furniture that would look good and also be functional. It also sounds as if he was trying to show that in being creative someone did not have to be cutting edge to produce works that could be appreciated by others.

I particularly like how he incorporates design features into the aesthetics of his pieces. Showcasing particularly inventive joins or connections by making them visual elements in his furniture is something that I rarely see in furniture. Features like this can really show the skill of the crafter and is something that should be done more often as I enjoy looking at details such as joins and figuring how they were accomplished or asking about how such parts were created. I also like the direct joining that he uses in his works. That aspect seems pretty daunting to try so I'm going to do some reading about that and see what I can find.

Dan S.

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