“If I must ascribe a meaning to the word craftsmanship, I shall say as a first approximation that it means simply workmanship using any kind of technique or apparatus, in which the quality of the result is not predetermined, but depends on the judgment, dexterity and care which the maker exercises as he works. The essential idea is that the quality of the result is continually at risk during the process of making; and so I shall call this kind of workmanship ‘The workmanship of risk’: an uncouth phrase, but at least descriptive.”
– David Pye, “The Nature and Art of Workmanship”
What is Studio Furniture?
Studio furniture is a branch of artistic craftsmanship characterized by the creation of one-of-a-kind or limited production pieces of fine furniture. The movement emerged in the latter part of the 20th century as the result of a realization that commercial manufacturing could not truly produce furniture to the highest standards. The studio furniture movement posits that a marriage of the best design with the best workmanship results in pieces of the absolute highest quality, and the work of studio furniture makers has been widely recognized as representing the apex of both design and construction. Pieces are generally offered for sale in small galleries and showrooms and often find their permanent homes in the collections of private individuals. Pieces typically bear the craftsperson’s individual mark as a seal of authenticity.
How the Studio Works
Time in the studio is equally devoted to speculative and custom work. In either case, considerable time is invested in refinement of the design idea, generally progressing from rough sketches to shop drawings, and then often to scale or full-size mock-ups. Material preparation follows, including careful selection of lumber to achieve optimal grain orientation, and then the components are shaped and joined as necessary. Machines are employed where appropriate, although typically this is only to advance the work to the point where fine craftsmanship with hand tools is possible. Surfaces are prepared, and a suitable finish is applied. Each piece is numbered and bears the maker’s signature mark.
If you are interested in purchasing one of the pieces featured on the website or would like to have a piece commissioned, please feel free to Contact the studio. The commission process generally commences with an initial consultation followed by a site visit or careful review of digital photographs of the intended location for the piece. Shortly thereafter, a limited number of design ideas are presented to the prospective client for consideration. This may involve simple sketches, working drawings, and scale or full-size mock-ups. If the client decides to proceed with the piece, a price is determined and a deposit is required in order to confirm a dedicated spot in Paul’s schedule.
As a guide, price points are listed on individual web pages for items in the Gallery. Typical lead times from deposit to delivery are currently 8-12 weeks. Items can be shipped worldwide, but pieces sold to clients in southern Ontario will be delivered personally. Elsewhere, items are shipped blanket-wrapped and insured with an approved shipping company.