March 6, 2015 |
LAST WEEK I followed a moving truck stuffed with donated furniture around the city. The men inside weren't white-haired or portly or dressed in red suits, but they might as well have been shouting "Merry Christmas!" as they pulled up to a small rowhouse on a cramped North Philly street. Even before the truck came to a stop, a woman and her little-man of a 12-year-old son were out the door, ready to help unload a few new mattresses and some secondhand furniture. The mother, whose identity I'm withholding for obvious reasons, fled an abusive relationship last year when the man she was living with pointed a loaded handgun at her. She ran in the middle of the night with her children and whatever belongings she could stuff into two garbage bags.
January 30, 2015
P ATRICIA DONAHUE, 62, of Roxborough, owns Consignment Marketplace in Manayunk. The business carries a variety of used housewares and furniture for every room in a house. The items are displayed in a 5,000-square-foot showroom on Main Street near Shurs Lane. Q: How'd you come up with the idea for the biz? A: It's 3 years old, but I've owned it since June 2014. I worked for the former owner. When she sold the building, I bought her business for $25,000 and rented the first floor from the new landlord.
January 19, 2015 |
No one will ever accuse Kraig Kalashian of a dearth of ideas. He's an architect, after all, with a portfolio of 20 ambitious projects, most of them hotels and restaurants across the United States. And he once owned a firm specializing in hospitality-industry interiors. Selling that interior-design business, Studio 1200, meant he could focus on yet another idea: building modern homes in the Poconos, on spec, that would emphasize creativity, craftsmanship, sustainability, and affordability.
November 2, 2014 |
After living in London, Rome, Brussels, and New York, where he was a photography editor for the Associated Press for the last two years of his career, Michael Feldman, a native Philadelphian and Temple University graduate, came home. Feldman, now 71, retired in 2008 after more than four decades as a photojournalist for such organizations as Reuters and United Press International, covering major events in Europe and the Middle East. Why, after selling their New York apartment, did he and wife Mary Ann move here?
August 4, 2014 |
These things begin innocently enough, with a Fire-King jadeite batter bowl, or maybe a couple of rye-straw baskets. But sometimes the condition worsens, and other bowls and baskets start following you home. You diversify into furniture and paintings - and pumpkin-head Halloween figures, embroidery stitched long ago by Pennsylvania schoolgirls named Mary and Ruth, a row of 19th-century French milliners' forms with their daintily painted red-lipped faces staring vacantly into space.
July 5, 2014 |
Marvin Weiss, 85, of Marlton, the founder of Viking Casual Furniture in Cherry Hill, died in Virtua Hospital-Marlton of a heart attack on Monday, June 30. Mr. Weiss was a dedicated father who would take his family to Ocean City, N.J., every Sunday in the summer - the one day he had off from the furniture store. As a young man, his family said, Mr. Weiss owned a sailboat that he loved to sail. He was a businessman who rose from his boyhood job as a paperboy selling the Camden Courier-Post for two cents each and making a one-cent profit, to being the owner of a well-known furniture store that his son now runs.
March 1, 2014 |
HARRISBURG To most folks, a chair may be no more than a place to park your bum. For others, they are objects of art and craftsmanship, symbols of technological innovation, or products that sustained a region's economy. Pennsylvania boasts a rich heritage of chair-making, from the fine cabinetry of early Philadelphia furniture makers to the mass production of chairs in Union City, near Erie, a community once known as the "Chair Center of the World," and the Mad Men -era industrial design of modern furniture makers.
January 18, 2014 |
David Hughes, a Doylestown landscape architect with an affinity for native flora and natural landscapes, often finds himself ripping out dead, overgrown, or otherwise undesirable plants to make way for new. But he doesn't haul that nasty Japanese honeysuckle, Chinese white mulberry, or Norway maple to the dump, curb, or chipper. Hughes is that rare soul who prizes what other designers and gardeners despise, more so if it's scarred by deer browsing, insect damage, or disease. That's because, in addition to designing ecologically responsible landscapes in the Philadelphia region, Hughes, 46, is a skilled woodworker who makes rustic furniture from garden "debris," a kind of plant-world Dumpster diver.
December 27, 2013 |
You could say the story began with a hat. By twists and turns, it passed through the furniture displays on the seventh floor of the now-defunct Strawbridge & Clothier department store on Market Street, out to an antiques emporium in King of Prussia, back to a house near Rittenhouse Square, and will eventually end up in the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, the repository for accumulated treasures of the czars and subsequent Russian...
October 26, 2013 |
Standing exactly five feet tall, Mira Nakashima is dwarfed by the towering planks in the woodshed once used by her father, celebrated furniture maker George Nakashima. Similarly, his legacy - and the renown that has only grown since his death in 1990 - often has overshadowed her work as a craftswoman. Yet over a 43-year career, Nakashima, 71, has come into her own style without forgetting her roots. What unites her work with her father's is the essence of the wood. "Same woodpile, same techniques," says Nakashima, as she sits in her New Hope studio.