Great Woodshops: Modernica

21st-century beauty from Baltic birch and bent lamination.
by John Hutchinson
Pages: 76-82

From the November 2006 issue #158
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As I looked at the “Modern” furniture coming to life in the Modernica workshops of brothers Frank and Jay Novak in Los Angeles, Calif., I couldn’t help comparing it to the work of another set of brothers, half a continent away, and a century ago. The Stickley brothers (all five of them) were the modernists of their era. Their Craftsman style rebelled against the ornate neoclassic and Victorian styles favored at the beginning of the 20th century. Their quartersawn oak furniture incorporated overt structural details such as corbels, stopped and through mortises, and exposed tenons. Their rectilinear shapes were free of any excess ornamentation except for what occurred naturally in the material, design and construction. The finished products revealed not only the craftsmanship that went into each piece, but also the beauty, simplicity and utility of the design.

From the November 2006 issue #158
Buy this issue now