WoodSkills Issue 02 - Page 87


WS: Having written two books on Greene & Greene, it is safe to say you are an expert on this style of furniture. What attracted you to the Arts & Crafts movement and in particular, the Greene & Greene style of furniture?

DP: The furniture of the American Arts & Crafts Movement took joinery and treated it as a thing of beauty. Being a woodworker this had great appeal to me – to make your method of work part of the art. Greene & Greene took American Arts & Crafts to a new level. Not only was joinery celebrated but one of the big fascinations for me was this universe of detail that all related to the context as a whole.

WS: What inspired you to begin incorporating Greene & Greene elements in your furniture designs? In a few words, can you describe a few of the elements including the well-known Ebony Plugs and Cloud Lifts?

DP: I saw in G&G more than just the individual elements themselves. To me it was alive – it had DNA. This excited me like nothing else! There was all this stuff going on - even the smallest of details had a purpose – nothing was superfluous! It was this concept that a design had life really captivated me. To my way of seeing things, the ebony plugs present the illusion of strength.

They steadfastly aid in holding the various parts of the structure together. There is something intrinsically satisfying about an object that is well built to withstand time and toil (this is the probably maker in me speaking). The cloud lift often implies strength as well – but a different kind of strength. The widening of a rail next to an adjoining leg (widening caused by cloud lift) conveys the illusion of extra weight holding capacity. Sometimes a cloud–lift can be used to lighten a rail up while (making the design less “chunky”) maintaining a sense of strength. OR - sometimes cloud lifts can be utilized a way to finesse a transition.


30 1/8" H x 53" W x 23" D

Darrell Peart Seattle, WA USA