Monday, April 5, 2010

Sam Maloof Rocker, Charles Brock, and Coy, Part 1

Coy is accomplished with his hands. Years of work as a building subcontractor--hands on, not a truck-and-clipboard poseur--have given him a range of experience with materials and what to do to persuade them into place. His most recent in-retirement effort has been the construction of a Long EZ Berkut (stock photo). He's a man of restless energy, and when he walked into the shop and said, "I want to build a Maloof Rocker" I knew this was not an idle inquiry.

We purchased the DVD, full size templates and ancillary book from Charles Brock and visited my local hardwood supplier Dan. It seemed like a lot of walnut for two svelte rocking chairs, but no, it's about gone and all we have left is the rockers to fabricate.

But the real story here is not about building chairs, it's about our exploration of the life and work of Sam Maloof, a most amazing human being. We have both read the coffee table book (yes, there's plenty of text!) called Sam Maloof Woodworker (published by Kodansha International, 1983) and have scoured the Web for every other tidbit we could find about him.

Brock is quick to say that building a Maloof rocker is "on every woodworker's bucket list" and he's right. I just never thought I could or would. But there's no reason a guy who builds musical instruments couldn't do it, provided he had someone like Coy, a delightful workshop companion, to nudge him into a few hours a week devoted to creating our tribute to Sam, marveling at his design and execution, and maybe even hauling away a family heirloom-to-be.

Thank you Sam, Thank you Charles, Thank you Coy.


Husband said...

I admire Maloof and he really did create some amazing pieces of art. In a July issue of Fine Woodworking Magazine, shortly after his death, they explored some other innovations including some stairs in his home that are really incredible.

Barkerbass said...

I appreciate that you see the pieces as art. I suppose most do, but it's easy to insert that word right after a pause that follows "furniture."

In this process I find that the fear I feel that I might not do his memory justice on this project is allayed by the joy in getting inside his head and his hands, as it were, and experiencing some form of the "rightness" of his line and form.

ArtSnark said...

What a great project. I'm going to have to keep an eye out for that book - sounds interesting