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.
July 22, 2013
Q: I am thinking of adopting a cat or kitten, but shelters won't let me if I plan to declaw. I've always done it, and I've always provided a good home for life for my cats. Can I just lie on the forms? A: No. If you absolutely, positively have no tolerance for scratching, adopt a cat who has already been declawed rather than take home a kitten or cat with the intent to declaw. If you fall in love with a cat or kitten with claws, you can teach him to keep his claws off what you don't want scratched.
June 20, 2013 |
Wielding his megaphone like a carnival barker, Devon Walls commented on people in the passing crowds, invited shoppers to inspect his wares, and announced the sales offered in his booth. It was another busy Sunday at the Philadelphia outpost of the Brooklyn Flea, the shopping mecca that offers everything from vintage signs to antique furniture, reclaimed clothing, and handcrafted jewelry. "Ladies and gentlemen, look at the strongman competition as they carry a 300-pound table to their car!"
June 14, 2013 |
Crazier things have made it, even made it big, in the American marketplace, but fungal furniture - furniture made from mushroom roots - may be a little too "out there" for most people. Yet "out there" - in the marketplace - is where Brian McClellan, 23, and Merjan Tara Sisman, 21, aspire to be with the mushroom chair and pendant lights they created for their senior project at Philadelphia University this year. "I hate mushrooms, sadly. The texture is too funky. But I love their growing capabilities," says McClellan, who graduated in May and is working part time as a bartender while he refines the design of his pendants.
May 23, 2013 |
JULIE Margaret Van Sciver seemed to thrive on high-risk adventure. Meg, as she was known to family and friends, left Philadelphia's cloistered atmosphere of private schools, benefits, horse shows and social climbing to pursue often risky adventures in many corners of the globe. On May 12, she was paragliding over Lookout Mountain in Colorado when she fell 40 feet. Emergency personnel took her off the mountain that afternoon, and she was taken to St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood, Colo.
May 18, 2013
The Yorkshire Alliance Home and Garden Tour takes place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Rain date is May 19. Tickets can be purchased at the Antiques Emporium, 424 High Street, 609-747-8333, and at Phillip's Furniture, 307 High Street, 609-386-7125. Price: $20 per person.
May 10, 2013 |
It began as a series of ad hoc rescue missions: Andrea Mihalik would spot furniture languishing on curbs during her morning jogs around Haddonfield, and end up lugging the underappreciated specimens back to her garage. Mihalik, 48, didn't know it at the time, but the collection of living-room rejects rapidly crowding the family cars out of their parking spots would soon launch her into a new career. As she would put it, the chairs just hadn't spoken to her yet. Nearly a decade later, those salvaged finds are the basis for Mihalik's one-woman company, Wild Chairy, which turns family heirlooms and garage-sale gems into "art chairs" - one-of-a-kind pieces that merge old-school upholstery techniques with a high-fashion sensibility, while integrating materials not found in (or anywhere near)