I don’t think that there is a more reputable furniture artist, teacher and designer who is still actively producing masterpieces than Wendell Castle. Castle, who is now in his 80s, is considered by many as the “Dean of the American Craft Design.” Perhaps his most important contribution to our field is inventing techniques to create furniture made out of volumes of wood that were first stack-laminated and then carved out in a subtractive process.
When he began exploring this technique in the 1950s, he used hand-held tools and manipulated wood using chisels and mallets. Today, more than 60 years after he commenced working on his sculptured furniture, Castle is exploring stack-lamination carving using state-of-the-art 3D robotic router that looks as if it has been taken out of a SciFi movie.
To celebrate Castle’s overarching career and to show his recent breakthroughs in furniture making, the Museum of Art and Design in Manhattan has curated a show in his honor. The show is on display through Feb 28th, 2016, and should definitely be on your to-do list if you visit NYC during this holiday season.
The video below is an illuminating introduction to Wendell Castle and his woodworking art, including his most recent robotic carving techniques. This video created by my friend, design historian Daniella Ohad Smith, is a treat to watch.
October 20, 2015 to February 28, 2016