27 July 2012

Thomas Moser offers a vacation idea to end all vacations

Eclipse dining by Thos. Moser
The Thos. Moser company makes exquisite furniture by hand. I've written about them repeatedly in the past and the more I see fine furniture, the more convinced I am that my lede sentence is as true a sentence as I can compose. If it's possible for furniture to be lyrical, Moser's is that and more.

The Eclipse dining table

Moser's offerings aren't just pretty and poetic, they're the perfect marriage of form and function. Joinery is ornament; the promise of comfort and longevity whisper in the background. If it's possible for furniture to achieve timelessness, this furniture does.

The Eclipse dining chair

The people who appreciate fine woodworking tend to be fanatical about the creations that pour out of the Moser workshop in Maine. Thomas Moser's cabinetmakers still do things the hard way and the results speak for themselves. Ever since 2007, the Tomas Moser company has offered a program for its buyers that sounds like an armchair woodworkers fantasy come true.

The Customer in Residence program

Meet the Thos. Moser Customer in Residence program.

The Customer in Residence program they offer is a one-week apprenticeship in the Moser workshop during which fine furniture customers can work alongside a master cabinetmaker. These lucky customers will build the heirloom that will some day grace their homes. I'm solid in my belief that everything someone owns should tell a story. Now just imagine having a group of friends over for dinner and while everyone's sitting and enjoying a meal, starting a story that begins with "I helped to build this table during a week I spent in Maine..."

Thomas Moser offers the Customer in Residence program eight times per year and they've been conducting these working vacations since 2007. For people who can't take a whole week, there are now weekend programs available too.

Space is limited as I'm sure you can imagine and while working on an eventual heirloom, "apprentices" stay in the nearby Harraseeket Inn in Freeport, ME. Fine dinners every night allow participants to get to know the Moser family and the week wraps up with a signing ceremony. During that ceremony, the piece a participant helped create gets signed by the participant, the master cabinetmaker and Thomas Moser himself. Talk about furniture with a story to tell after all that. My head spins at the very idea.

You can find more information about Moser's Customer in Residence programs on the Thos. Moser website. There's contact information there too in case you're interested in attending or if you'd like more details about the program. If you'd like to read a first hand account, a writer named Dawn Klinginsmith wrote about her Customer in Residence experience for the Chicago Tribune last year.

It's easy to fall into the belief that craftsmanship is dead and Thomas Moser's Customer in Residence program proves yet again that it isn't.

17 July 2012

Happy anniversary Thos. Moser

Thos. Moser is celebrating their 40th anniversary as fine furniture makers and when I say fine I mean it.

To celebrate, Moser's offering 21 desirable pieces from their collection at discounts of 10 to 20%. You can see the available pieces by following this link to Thos. Moser's website. When you're ready to buy some new dining chairs, a rocker, a bench, some stools or a table, enter the promo code JUL12 to get the discount.

But hurry, there are only five days left. This promotion will end on July 22.

Any time I hear someone whining about how nobody builds furniture with any kind of craftsmanship anymore, I point them to Thos. Moser's website to disprove that uninformed opinion. Moser makes exquisite wooden furniture and even if you're not buying anything right now, perusing their website will renew your faith in US furniture makers.

14 July 2012

It must be sink week: check out the new Cerana from Blanco

The Cerana from Blanco is their first ceramic sink to be introduced in North America and leave it up to Blanco to come up with something truly innovative to mark this new category's debut.

While the sink may be new on this side of the Atlantic, the material it's made from is not. Fireclay's been around for hundreds of years for very good reason. It's extremely durable and holds up well to everyday wear. Where the innovation comes in is that this apron-front sink is reversible. Yes, reversible.

Both sides of this sink are finished and the drain's in the absolute center. One side has the rounded lines of a traditional apron-front and the opposite side has a more linear, modern appearance. When it comes time to do the installation, pick a side and just go for it.

Modern installation

Traditional installation

It's a terrific idea and this video explains the concept and execution really well.

Good job Blanco! To see the Cerana and the rest of Blanco's collections, poke around on their website.

13 July 2012

Kohler Colors with Jonathan Adler

Kohler's rolling out four, new and vibrant colors with the help of Jonathan Adler. Say what you will about Adler, but I give him all kinds of credit for bringing vibrant color to six, select kitchen and bath sinks from Kohler's existing collections.

Here's the full palette:

In situ, those colors are Greenwich Green,

Piccadilly Yellow,

Annapolis Navy

and Palermo Blue.

These Jonathan Adler colors are only available in enameled iron because the degree of saturation shown in these sinks can only be achieved with enamel. The sinks available in these colors are Tides, Canvas, DemiLav Wading Pool for the bath and Whitehaven, Riverby and Iron/ Tones for the kitchen.

These sinks are cast in the Kohler foundry in Kohler, WI and carry a lifetime warranty.

There was once a time when I lived to take potshots at Adler's work. While it's true that his creations aren't for everybody, what's also true is that he's a fundamentally decent man who understands his audience perfectly. Besides, anyone who'll pose with the likes of these two can't be anything but a good guy. Right Cheryl?

So what do you think? Is there room for this kind of bold color in a sink? Would you ever use color this way in your own home?