People often ask me, “What do you do?” Well, what day is it? Depending on the day, I’m either a studio furniture maker, antique restoration specialist, teacher, designer, or part time bike enthusiast. So, how do I explain this to someone? Usually, I say something like, “I make furniture.”
In reality when you take your passion and make it a lifestyle, you become so much more than just a _______ (fill in the blank). You are everything that encompasses that lifestyle. You take on the roles that help define your passion. The Japanese have a word, “shokunin,” that roughly means artist – craftsman. It’s a term to describe one who not only makes their art or craft, but also lives their art. It’s not just a description, but more of a goal to strive for – to attain a oneness of mind, body, and spirit, and communicate that oneness through the work.
So, I guess, that’s where I’m at in my pursuit of this art and this craft. Now, how do I sum that up for all those small -talkers out there?
I’m a native son to Olney, IL where my family has owned a retail furniture business for over 80 years.
I left the retail furniture world for the studio furniture world and studied Fine Furniture Making independently for five years before attending the Worcester Center for Crafts in Worcester, MA under the Fine Woodworking and Antique Restoration and Conservation programs.
In 2004, I returned to Olney and founded Adam King Studio, a small shop specializing in custom studio furniture and antique restoration. The Studio is located in an historic building once used by the St. Louis Shoe Company in Olney, IL.
The work is executed to exacting standards. Traditional joinery and hand tools are employed to achieve the highest level of craftsmanship and integrity, to ensure that each piece stands alone as an object of distinction. I am heavily influenced by the tools, techniques, and traditions of old world craftsman, in particular, that of the Japanese. I am constantly seeking to employ these methods in to the process.
Reclaimed or sustainability harvested lumber is used as much as possible. I believe in my responsibility to lessen the impact my work has on our environment. Beyond that, though, each piece of lumber that has been reclaimed for future use has a story to tell that is all it’s own. I believe this enhances the character and emotion that is contained within the piece.
The designs are taken from a myriad of my influences. Japanese architecture, Arts and Crafts pieces, nature, Danish modern; these all play a part in designing a piece that reflects not only the influences it comes from, but also a “quiet elegance” that will enhance the space in which it resides.
“The precious part of a product is the part put into it by the craftsman.” – Charles Rohlfs
Sunday, February 27, 2011