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. https://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.

Salad Tongs (great wedding gift!)

Cherry Salad Tongs

I found the inspiration for these salad tongs while perusing old magazines. They are a perfect way to use pieces of cherry veneer that are too small for tables and cabinets. They are finished with a light coat of a food safe oil. All they need after tossing your salad is a gentle wipe with a damp cloth. Your salad oil will further enhance the finish. These are not dishwasher safe. Click on any of the images to go to my Etsy shop where it is easy to place an order.

Oh btw, a set would also make a very nice house warming gift.

Time for Art

Blue Clock #1. Available on Etsy.

Your new work is quite a departure from your furniture work. In a way it is. In another way it is kind of a bridge between furniture and art. After all clocks are functional household or office items.

Do these pieces function as clocks, do they keep time? Oh yes, absolutely. They have quartz clock movements. Here let’s post the second clock.

Green Clock #1. Available on Etsy.

In some ways these pieces could be considered sculptures couldn’t they? Yes, but I think of them as wall art.

So, to you they are primarily art despite their functional aspect? I think that the functional aspect is part of the art.

What is the message of these pieces? Is there a message? The pieces, at least these first two (I have ideas for more, but it may not be wise to discuss them until they are done), are expressing several things at once. One of things that is important to know about them is that they were inspired by a piece by Matisse. He re-worked “Bathers by a River” for seven years before he finished it. It is pretty easy to see the reference to that work in the green clock particularly.

I was struck with the way artists will work on a piece over a very long time. I myself have worked and re-worked pieces for years. So I thought, why not include the hands of a clock that actually work?

I am also thinking about art versus functionality. It seems that many people find that it is easier to trade some of their money for something that has a function that their friends and family will recognize as a “legitimate” function, in this case keeping time. Somehow people have a hard time recognizing the function of art itself. I mean, this is really a big topic and I just wanted to explore a little corner of it with this work.

Could these also be saying something about you turning back to making art? Yes, there is definitely a personal statement in them as well.

How big are these two pieces? They are each just under 12 inches wide by 11 inches tall.

You mentioned trading money for art, are these available for sale? Yes, I’ll be posting them in my etsy shop today as a matter of fact. Here’s a link: Etsy.Fillingham

Do you have any images of these clocks in a room setting? Yeah, that would be nice, unfortunately I don’t. However I did take a picture of them hanging on my studio wall. That is how I shot the above photos so this image is the setting for that shoot in case anyone is interested:

This studio view doesn’t look anything like your wood shop. This the other half of Fillingham Art Furniture Design. This is the more or less clean room where my office is and where I do most of my design work and art.

Well, thank you very much for your time. It was my pleasure, I always enjoy a nice conversation with myself.

A Deck Chair

Modern Patio Furniture

Deck Chair

Purchase on Etsy

Summer is here and I’ve been thinking about relaxing on my deck, simply watching the world go by. Why not create a really nice patio chair for doing just that? Something inspired by wooden boats,  something reminiscent of Mid Century Modern or Danish Modern design. Something that can take a little weather if it’s left out for the weekend. The more I thought about it the more I started noticing that there are an awful lot of smaller sized balconies attached to some really nice condo units that could use a couple of really nice patio chairs too. If you’ve found my other blog you may know that I’ve been watching the new condos, especially those along the rivers in Milwaukee, pretty closely. (The picture links to that blog if you’re curious.) So, I designed this chair. It’s a little smaller than a lot of outdoor chairs out there so that a couple of them will easily fit on a condo balcony, yet it is very comfortable for even big guys like me.by Todd Fillingham I made the first two out of walnut, which turns out to be very durable wood for outdoor use (used in boat building worldwide), northern white cedar (another boat wood) and stainless steel. The back is easily removed (no tools needed) for shipping and storage . I finished the chair with my own mix of oils and spar varnish.  This is an easy chair, made for sitting back and relaxing, part of what I call my summer stress relief system.  Set it out and sit back. by Todd Fillingham

by Todd Fillingham

by Todd Fillingham Where can you get these? Two are now available on my Etsy site where it is very easy to order online.   I’ll deliver them  in the metro Milwaukee area with no shipping charge. Enjoy the summer!

By the way, I will be recommending on my Etsy site that these chairs be used in a protected outdoor setting however you can leave these chairs out in the weather all summer if you want. The finish may fade some. If it fades too much it can easily be restored, or better yet the chair can simply weather to a beautiful, stylish gray, it will still be just as comfortable. All metal parts are stainless steel so they won’t rust and the woods are highly resistant to rot.

Please feel free to leave a comment here to contact me. Or, if you would prefer you are welcome to use my alternate email address which is tfilling@execpc.com . I am also available on twitter as @toddfi .

buy now

Update: I’ve been asked for the dimensions of this chair. Here they are:

deck chair by Todd Fillingham all rights reserved


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