Even More Stools

In addition to the stool shown in my last post I’ve also recently completed another variation of the theme inspired by the work of Wharton Esherick.

This stool’s seat is a free form aerodynamic-like slice of figured maple.

The two stools, the one with the walnut seat from my last post and this one make a very nice pair.

Again, clicking on an image should send you to my Etsy store where you can find out how to purchase one or both of these pieces.

More Stools

I recently noticed that A Wharton Esherick stool is being listed for sale at $8,500. Here’s a link to Modern One’s listing. I’ve posted in the past about being inspired by Wharton Esherick’s work. http://fillingham.wordpress.com/2010/02/11/inspired/  In that post I noted: “Wharton Eshericks stools command a lot of money these days. Live Auctioneers have one listed at an estimated price of $4,000 – $6,000 with the bids starting at $2,000. Architonic, Sotheby’s, and Rago list similar prices. The Museum of Arts and Design shows a very nice Esherick stool online as well.”It looks like prices for his work are going up.

Above is an image of a new stool I’ve recently completed. My hope is to work within the general theme established by Wharton Esherick while exploring some of my own ideas about shapes and forms and how they relate to each individual piece of wood being used. This stool is made from a beautiful piece of walnut from a crotch in the walnut tree as well as maple legs, turned on a lathe.

If you are interested in finding out how to purchase this stool just click one of the images and you should land on my Etsy page for this stool.

Inspired

Over the years I’ve made many stools inspired by the stools Wharton Esherick made. Above is one of my latest.

I keep a copy of a clipping on the wall of my studio that I clipped from a magazine long ago.  It shows an artist’s studio with at least 3 Esherick stools.  Maybe the stools were inspiration, I’m sure they were functional. I have used several of my stools both in my home and in my studio. They’re great. They are light weight, sculptural, comfortable, and get better with age (natural daily polishing of the seat).

Here’s a stool I made many years ago. It was sold through a gallery I was showing in at the time. I like the way I did the rungs. The legs on this stool are square in section. My new stools have lathe turned legs and rungs. I’m thinking of doing a stool soon though that has both turned legs and sculpted rungs.

Above is another view of one of two stools I’ve just finished. This stool’s seat was carved from a gorgeous piece of walnut that was sawn from the crotch of a walnut tree. The grain is extraordinary.

I cut the seat to best highlight the grain pattern.

The second stool I just completed does not have as striking a grain pattern nevertheless it is a very nice looking stool.

A couple of angles are needed to get an idea of what this stool looks like.

Wharton Eshericks stools command a lot of money these days.

Live Auctioneers have one listed at an estimated price of $4,000 – $6,000 with the bids starting at $2,000. Architonic, Sotheby’s, and Rago list similar prices.

The Museum of Arts and Design shows a very nice Esherick stool online as well.

Of course these prices are high because of Wharton Esherick’s name and reputation, and (unfortunately) because he is dead.

I am selling these stools on Etsy at a fraction of the prices listed above (…LOL…). I also have two more stools in the works and will list them on Etsy as soon as they are done.

Are these stools art? They are sculptural, but are they sculpture? I think of them as art furniture. They fall close enough to sculpture on the art- craft continuum for me to sometimes shorten “art furniture” to just “art” because in making them I am expressing a feeling and emotional vision in an abstract way. There is no question that they are functional however, functional beyond the true, fundamental function of art.

If you take a little time to contemplate some of the elements and forms that these stools are made of you may notice a few things. One is that the shape of the legs are different for the 2 stools. This shape shifts a sense of motion (or stability) by adding mass either towards the floor or upward. Another thing you may notice is the angles of the rungs and the space that is outlined by the legs, seat and rungs as you move around the piece. These things are subtle and take time to appreciate, but are some of the elements that I considered when making them

Here’s a link to my Etsy store if you would like to consider owning one (or both!) of these stools.

UPDATE: I just got word of this show: Wharton Esherick: Birth of the American Modern . It looks very interesting.

UPDATE 2: These stools have been sold. I am working on several more as we speak though.

I keep a clipping on the wall of my studio

Intrepid

My Microtek 4850 scanner has an attachment for scanning slides. It does a pretty good job on slides that are not very dark, but on dark slides it adds a lot of noise that is hard to edit out. In working on my new web site I’ve been going through a lot of old slides and a lot of old digital images. I found a few slides of a piece I did some time ago as a commission for a fund raiser. It was auctioned off and I’ve lost track of it now so these slides are all I have of it.

Intrepid

I think you can get idea of the piece even with all the image noise.

Here’s a scan of slide I did in the same session. It’s of one of my 3 legged stools. This was sold through a gallery.

3 legged stool by Todd Fillingham

You can see the difference in image quality between the two scans. It must be that the stool slide had a lot of light.

Over the years I’ve done quite of few of these three legged stools all based on the stools of Wharton Esherick. As a matter of fact here’s a set of 3 I recently made on a commission basis.

3- 3legged stools by Todd Filingham

OK, why am I posting stools and mobiles? Maybe it’s because I think of the stools as sculpture. I really like the carved seats, each one is unique and they are a sculptural element that you interact with. Also, I like the contrast between the sensuous carved stool seats and the flat, metal elements in primary colors of the the mobile.