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Craftsman 101

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This is a quick presentation I put together briefing builders in Second Life on the history and key characteristics of the Craftsman style. …

This is a quick presentation I put together briefing builders in Second Life on the history and key characteristics of the Craftsman style.

This presentation will be attended by builders who will compete in a competition to build a craftsman home in Second Life as a part of the Frank Lloyd Wright Museum hosted events in November 2009


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  • 1. Craftsman Style 101 A Builder’s Guide to Recreating Craftsman in SL
  • 2. Your Presenter: Troy Vogel
    • Content creator, architect since 2004
    • Architect of the following projects:
      • Odaesan House
      • Costa Del Mar House
      • Texas State University Virtual Campus: Bobcat Village
      • United Church of Christ of Koinonia
      • Mission Home Store Island
    • Furniture builder for the Mission Home Store
  • 3. Arts & Crafts in the UK
    • Arts & Crafts movement began in 1860s England with the ideas of the philosopher John Ruskin and designer and poet William Morris.
    • Rebellion against Victorian industrialized production, poor working conditions and lack of respect for workmanship.
    • Classical and then current industrial designs were both disregarding function and needs of residents of the spaces. This required a return to a more human centric approach to design & architecture.
    • Advocated a return to the Gothic architectural style
    • Good products, and fine craftsmanship should be available to all – especially the working class. This will help them regain the dignity they lost.
    • Machines should not impose design rules, design rules should impose how machines are used – wisely: use machines for drudgery work and blend in handcrafting for fine work & finishing.
  • 4. Craftsman Style in the US
    • One school believes that Greene and Greene are the pioneers of Craftsman in the US while another believes that A&C came over to the US around 1890-1920s titled as Craftsman by Gustav Stickley.
    • The movement later was also referred to as the Mission after an article published in a newspaper about Gustav where he referred to one of his designs “in a Spanish Mission in Southern California.”
    • Spanish Mission at the time meant Spanish Colonial and the juxtaposition of the Mission name used for Craftsman created much confusion then and even now amongst collectors.
    • Hand crafted furniture, vases, and goods but everything must have a function. NO Victorian clutter in the house!
    • Quarter sawn oak and best natural materials used.
    • Embellishments and decorations are restrained and/or functional (contrast to Victorian).
    • Elaborate wood joinery: mortise & tenons.
  • 5. Master Architects of the Craftsman Style
    • Gustav Stickley
    • Frank Lloyd Wright
    • Greene & Greene
    • Charles Rennie Mackintosh
  • 6. Gustav Stickley (1858-1942)
    • Stickley brought A&C style to the US and named it “Craftsman” to differentiate from the UK A&C.
    • Later it was also called Mission Style: “furniture must fill its mission of usefulness as we as it possibly can”
    • Stickley published the “Craftsman” magazine that had detailed drawings meant to inspire people to build their own pieces.
    • Stickley designed at least 241 homes and published over 221 plans between 1901 and 1916.
    • There are two Stickley companies today both descendents of the original Gustav Stickley.
  • 7. Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959)
    • Took the A&C and Craftsman styles to the next level by transforming them into the Prairie style.
    • Inherited the basic principles of the A&C and Craftsman movements and took them to extremes while making them his own.
    • Houses adorned with Asian, Mayan influenced touches.
    • Experimented with building materials.
  • 8. Charles Sumner Greene (1868-1957) Henry Mathers Greene(1870-1954)
    • Hailed by the American Institute of Architects as “formulators of a new and native architecture.”
    • Greene & Greene designed houses and furnishings a century ago that established a new paradigm for the art of architecture in the United States.
    • Characteristics of their work:
      • Drawing on the skills of outstanding craftsmen,
      • High art aesthetics,
      • Beautiful and functional spaces.
  • 9. Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928)
    • Leader of the Glasgow style that evolved from A&C roots.
    • His influences were Industrial Modernism and Asian.
    • However his work was far from most of the modernists of his era and reflected a level of ornament that was more reminiscent of Art Nouveau.
    • Margaret Macdonald, his wife’s, contribution to interior decors of his building should not be overlooked.
    • The principles that guided A&C and Craftsman also guided CRM:
      • Importance for family space
      • Local materials & labor
      • Quality furnishings
      • Windows & light very important
      • Art should be in everything, it should surround people
      • Furnishings should be sparse and functional, homes should be uncluttered.
  • 10. Characteristics of Craftsman House I
    • Craftsman Home has refinement of design and quality of construction and finish.
    • It is often site related and placed to advantage using the site.
    • The house is built with materials found on the site, and/or natural materials native to the region.
    • The house designs rely on exposed structural elements for decorative details. The variety of natural materials provide textures for light to play on .
    • Voids, in the form of recessed porches and entrance ways, and terraces and pergolas, create visual interest.
  • 11. Characteristics of Craftsman House II
    • Interiors emphasize form and function. Space is conservatively and creatively used for living, with design elements utilizing wood and built-in spaces such as inglenooks, benches and cabinets.
    • Ceilings are lower than Victorian though not as low as Prairie style that followed.
    • Light fixtures and hardware relate as design elements.
    • Asian influence is felt in many of the details such as the pitch of the roofline being quite low.
  • 12. Characteristics of the Craftsman House Exterior PORCH
    • A wide, unenclosed front porch with overhanging eaves spanning the full or partial width of the home is a recognizable feature of the craftsman style. Porches are often framed by substantial columns, often square or tapered and extending all the way to the ground.
  • 13. Characteristics of the Craftsman House Exterior FRONT DOORS
    • Glazing – Fitting glass into windows and doors.
    • Paneled door – A door with one or more recessed panels.
    • Batten door – A door constructed by nailing boards together in various ways.
  • 14. Characteristics of the Craftsman House Exterior ROOFLINE
    • Craftsman homes have lower pitch gables. Frequently the brackets supporting the roof are visible. Decorative Beams & rafters real or false are exposed. Multiple roof planes were common. Tile and slate as well as shingles were favored.
  • 15. Characteristics of the Craftsman House Exterior CHIMNEYS
    • Stone exterior chimneys were present in almost every single Craftsman home. Some of the earlier versions used mix of materials such as: stone at bottom becoming brick toward the top.
  • 16. Characteristics of the Craftsman House Exterior FOUNDATION
    • Sloping Foundation
  • 17. Characteristics of the Craftsman House Exterior WINDOWS
    • Windows of craftsman style homes are often grouped together in horizontal sets. Windows typically have noticeable frames and may be double-hung or fixed, with some homes adorned with a stained glass window.
  • 18. Characteristics of the Craftsman House Exterior SIDING
    • Common siding materials used are horizontal wood boards and wood shingles or shakes. Ground floor and upper floors often had different materials: clapboard/shingle over stone. Stucco was also commonly used.
  • 19. Characteristics of the Craftsman House Exterior LANDSCAPING
    • A Craftsman home should be surrounded by planters, plant beds, and carefully selected location appropriate plants native to the area. The house should appear in harmony with its surroundings.
  • 20. Craftsman Interiors & Furniture
  • 21. Victorian Vs. Craftsman Interiors
    • Victorian
    • Craftsman Interiors
  • 22. Mission Furniture Characteristics
    • Carpentry
      • Quartersawn Solid Oak
      • Quadralinear Posts
      • Joinery:
        • Mortise & Tenons
        • Tongue & Groove Joints
        • Blind Dovetailed Crossrails
      • Book Matched Door Panels
    • Use of Art Glass
    • Ceramics
  • 23. Craftsman Furniture Details
    • Quartersawn Oak
    • A method of sawing oak so the cut is made parallel to the wood's medullar rays instead of across. This special cut yields a limited quantity of top grade boards featuring ray flake, the decorative wavy pattern prominent in quartersawn wood.
  • 24. Joinery: Mortise & Tenons
    • A signature element of Craftsman construction is tenons – boards whose ends have been cut for insertion into a mortise.
    • A blind tenon is concealed within the mortise. A through tenon projects beyond the depth of the mortise.
    • A keyed tenon projects beyond the mortise and is slotted with a wedge-shaped block.
  • 25. Bookmatching
    • Resawing is a process of splitting thick lumber into thinner boards. Once split, the halves are opened like a book revealing identical grain. This time consuming and labor intensive process assures beautifully grained door panels on all pieces.
  • 26. Glass Panels In Furniture
    • Glass is incorporated into the furniture to create a sense of lightness and visual impact.
    • Art glass is used in windows to play with light and give interiors additional color / design without cluttering the space.
  • 27. Examples of Stickley Craftsman
    • 1914 Denver Craftsman Home
    • Craftsman Bungalow Style
  • 28. Example of Prairie
    • Dana Thomas House
    • by Frank Lloyd Wright
    • Dana Thomas House
    • by Frank Lloyd Wright
  • 29. Example of Bungalow
    • The Gamble House
    • by Greene & Greene
    • Blacker House Entry Hall
    • By Greene & Greene
  • 30. Example of Glasgow Style
    • Hill House
    • By Charles Rennie Mackintosh
    • House For An Art Lover
    • By Charles Rennie Mackintosh
  • 31. References & Resources
    • Online Resources
    • Gustav Stickley and the Arts and Crafts Movement
    • Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms
    • Stickley Furniture Company
    • Blog Post: What’s up with this Mission vs. Craftsman vs. Arts & Crafts Stuff?
    • Excellent Mortise & Tenon Article on Wikipedia
    • Craftsman Style Guide (must read)
    • Books
    • Robert Rust and Kitty Turgeon, Arts & Crafts , (New York, NY: Sterling Publishing, 1997) ISBN: 1-56799-363-X
    • Robert W Lang, Shop Drawing for Craftsman Interiors , (Bethel CT: Cambium Press, 2004) ISBN 1-892836-16-5
    • Robin Langley and David Rago, The Arts & Crafts Movement , (New York,NY: Barnes & Noble) 2003 ISBN: 0-7607-4222-7