Sam Maloof 1916-2009

I was saddened today to learn of the passing last Thursday of a true creator. Sam Maloof has been dubbed one of America’s treasures, and that he truly was. He brought a new vision to the world of furniture, making useful objects that transcended their utilty and became true art. He, however, thought of himself as a woodworker. That was an honest word to him. He just wanted to make beautiful things for people to live with. Integrity was important to him, he wanted to have that connection with the people who bought his pieces, as he felt a connection to the makers of the pieces that he surrounded himself with. He even turned down a business proposition to mass produce his chairs, when he realized that he would have to compromise his designs in order to make them machine friendly, thereby walking away from millions of dollars. He wanted to make sure that any piece with his name was actually made by him.

In my own work, he is, more than anyone else, responsible for pushing me to move beyond straight lines, to look for the curve, for the organic. I still have far to go, but his work will always be there to drive me onward.

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