Author Archives: Michael Crow

About Michael Crow

Michael Crow is the author of "Mid-Century Modern Furniture." He can often be found working on his Craftsman bungalow or building furniture for it. Follow his work at www.1910craftsman.com.

Mid-century Modern Bookcase

Simple joinery serves this sophisticated geometric design. by Michael Crow pages 49-52 Mid-century modern design is enjoying a surge in popularity, and rightly so: Its clean lines and functional design make it practical and attractive, two traits evident in this bookcase by an unknown designer. Its stark, geometric design shows modern...

fumed finish taboret

Create a Fumed Finish

Ever tried to create a fumed finish? Fuming with ammonia is a traditional Arts & Crafts finishing technique. When exposed to concentrated ammonia, the tannins in white oak cause the wood to darken, yielding a rich, warm color that penetrates the surface of the wood. Depending on the intended use of the piece,...

Mid Century Modern

Five Lessons from Mid-Century Modern Furniture

  You can purchase Michael Crow’s DVD “Building Techniques in Mid-century Modern Furniture,” at shopwoodworking.com As a material object, a piece of furniture reflects the taste of its designer, the skill of its maker and larger cultural influences. For example, Shaker furniture shows the elegance of simplicity and the value of...

imperfect grid

Off the Grid: Variations on a Mid-Century Modern Bookcase

There’s something very graphical about the design of the Mid-Century Modern Bookcase I built for the October 2015 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. Viewed head on, the arrangement of dividers and shelves suggests a grid-based page layout. Although the analogy falls a bit short (the short divider is placed in such...

Nelson Platform Bench

Nelson Platform Bench

Editor’s note: During his time design director for Herman Miller, George Nelson recruited a series of talented designers including Ray and Charles Eames, Isamu Noguchi, Robert Propst and Alexander Gerard. During Nelson’s tenure, Herman Miller produced numerous iconic designs including, the Eams Lounge Chair, Marshmallow Sofa and Noguchi coffee table. And, as...

Risom round coffee table

Risom Coffee Table

Editor’s note: The measured drawings for the Risom coffee table in this article by Michael Crow are similar to the shop drawings included in Crow’s new book, “Mid-Century Modern Furniture.” The book presents shop drawings and techniques for creating 29 projects designed by some of the era’s foremost designers, including Hans Wegner,...

Kinkauji temple

From Temple Roofs to Tansu: In Search of a Bamboo Nail

Kyoto’s Kinkakuji sits on the edge of an ornamental pond, its gold leaf catching the light and turning it to an aureate glow, the whole gleaming apparition reflected in the pond. And yet when I visited Kinkakuji, I was almost as taken with a roofing display as I was with the...

Rohlf and Stickley floriform tables

Rohlfs & Stickley: A Case of Flowery Inspiration

Darrell Peart raised an interesting questions during my recent web seminar on “Unkown Arts & Crafts” for Popular Woodworking University. He noted the similarities between one of Rohlfs’ tables and the poppy table by Gustav Stickley and asked if one maker influenced the other. Both tables share a similar form —...