Stickley Furniture: Still Made in the USA
Last entry we discussed the timeless heritage designs that are still being produced by the Stickley Furniture Company, one of our partners in providing exceptional quality here at Ennis Fine Furniture. The company, then owned by the Stickley family, underwent a restructuring in the 1980s when the Audi family stepped in and took over for the next generation of Stickley craftsmen. Still proudly made in the USA, Stickley Furniture Co. continues to promote the Arts and Crafts movement as a distinctly American tradition, limiting the size of its workforce to help preserve, manage and fiercely defend every one of its disciplines on craft; a work culture so passionate it proudly embodies their motto of “to the best of my ability” in every piece it produces. These traditional practices have helped keep Stickley true to its mission statement, but it hasn’t kept the company from expanding its collections and keeping its design profile fresh.
Take the Park Slope Collection. This expansive range began as an update of the classics found in the more traditional Stickley Mission Collection, but it soon morphed into a juxtaposition of modernization and craftsmanship. At first glance, the curves and repeating lines are reminiscent of the Pasadena Bungalow series; the oak spindles take your eye up and down the back of the chairs, bedposts, or settles, giving off a tall, regal appearance. Instead of harking back to the subtle warmth of a more natural wood stain, Stickley has opted to showcase many of the Park Slope pieces in a vivid black sheen. This modern retelling allows for the oak grain to be brooding and dark for times when natural shadows dominate in the room, while also letting it shear off in bright, brilliant refractions when shone in some overhead illumination. The modernization of the Mission look has simplified curves in some places, dramatized negative space in others, and overall has streamlined the movement into an almost minimalist feel. It gives the appearance of a design that’s been beautifully distilled, reduced to only the essential parts needed to pull your eye in from the sensory overload of modern life.
So, if you’re on the lookout for American-made furniture–pieces of exceptional quality and craftsmanship–then it is definitely in your best interest to see what the Stickley brand, motto, and life are all about. Take a trip down to an Ennis showroom, cast your eyes onto one of these inviting designer chairs and let them linger peacefully for a bit, tracing the black-lacquered hemispheres and polished dramatic angles of the Park Slope Collection until you’re ready to plop down in one and experience the greatest feat Gustav Stickley and Co. ever pulled off: making an art form out of simply sitting down.