Sunday, March 18, 2012

More on Wharton Esherick

I'm still digesting this book, but it's a gold mine. This was a nifty tid-bit, though, and I thought it was worth sharing:

"As acceptance and interest in contemporary crafts had grown, in 1956 the American Craftsmen's Council opened the Museum of Contemporary Crafts... In New York. [They] invited seventy-year-old Wharton as the senior advisor, the seer to whom all others could turn to for inspiration and advice.

At a session of woodworkers, one man spoke of the economic need to design for the mass-production market. Sam Maloof, a forty-one year old California furniture maker, responded that he found emotional reward in working with the customer and having a "hands-on" experience. Afterward, Wharton approached him and said, "Young man, I want to speak with you." Expecting to be bawled out for what he'd said, Sam was surprised and delighted when Wharton advised, "Stick to your convictions and don't stray from the way you work and believe; remember what I've told you." And to his dying day, Sam did."

From: Wharton Esherick: The Journey of a Creative Mind by Mansfield Bascom.

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