Tom Stangeland

Tom in his workshop

I enjoy combining beautiful materials and experimenting with pattern and form, exploring the balance between function and design. I have always had a strong desire to make things. I started when I was a little boy, building airplanes and flying them with my friends. I was twenty when I began to work in a woodshop. Getting paid to work in a shop? It was like an extraordinary dream. I learned much of my craft under the tutelage of Emmett Day whose work and craftsmanship remain an inspiration. I have also been influenced by such craftsman as Ruhlman, Saarinen and others who saw the craft more as a way of life than as simple production.

Many of my designs are derived from the Arts and Crafts movement and the following Art Deco period. They employ graceful lines coupled with strength and comfort, remaining true to the Arts and Crafts emphasis on hand-crafted, "hand friendly" furniture of beauty and integrity. Each piece is carefully constructed and finished to appeal to the eye and to the touch. I use catalyzed lacquer because it has long-term strength and is virtually maintenance-free.  

"A high level of doneness" is how I like to describe my finished pieces and the care I give them, even in the inconspicuous places that might never be seen. That care is what enables this work to endure, because I believe that making a fine piece of furniture is only one test. Making something beautiful that will last for generations is another.  

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