Thursday, April 10, 2008

Furniture I Love: John Sterling Edition

I’m very happy that I found out about John Sterling’s furniture. His style is somewhat eclectic, which I like to see, and he has a meticulous concern for detail that I find inspiring. For instance, on his Remnant Cabinet of resawn and bookmatched spalted maple panels with a curly maple case, the finish is “multiple coats of amber shellac which was then polished to a high gloss with automotive swirl remover.” The effect is positively luminous.

Speaking of luminosity, his Luminaria Table is what drew my attention to his work in the first place. As a simple form, the piece is really beautiful. But Sterling adds his own surprises by making the base and legs out of curly maple and the top out of quartersawn sycamore. The glass panels were salvaged from a window in an old hotel.

In an attempt to take advantage of scrap, John started making these beautiful boxes. The ring boxes have a ring holder and are lined with Japanese fabrics.

For a departure to his roots in the Arts & Crafts tradition, he started the Shibui line to play with organic forms. In the Shibui table, I love how the live edges of two boards are turned in on themselves to form the unique top.

John offers his work on his website,, and at various craft shows throughout the year. See his website for details.

Finally, I’m happy to include a link to the Blue Butterfly Fund, a nonprofit organization founded by John and his wife Elizabeth. The Blue Butterfly Fund provides financial and emotional support to families whose children have cancer. Please visit the website at

Photos are by Terry Wild.