STICKLEY- A Short History
L. and J.G Stickley since 1900
It all started with five brothers: Gustav, Leopold, Charles, Albert, and John George Stickley. Gustav alone is often thought to have introduced the innovative Craftsman style (better known today as Mission). However, all five Stickleys contributed to the founding of the Arts & Crafts movement in America.
They were inspired by (and adopted) 15th century Dutch painter Jan van Eyck’s motto “Als ik Kan”, which loosely translates as “To the Best of my Ability”. This high-minded corporate philosophy soon resulted in furniture built for both beauty and function, using the finest materials, strongest joinery, and most radiant finishes. Their ground-breaking designs relied on neither gratuitous embellishment nor the whims of fashion; they were meant to become both useful and beautiful improvements to the day-to-day fabric of domestic family life.
By the late 1890’s prosperous America was awash in mass produced, poorly-made, mediocre consumer goods, particularly furniture. Then, in 1900, the Stickley brothers introduced the immediately popular Craftsman (or Mission) style, single-handedly transforming the very atmosphere of the American household. Immediately popular, these ground-breaking designs eased America out of late Victorian formality with a freshness of style and aesthetic that helped hugely to usher in the new century.
The Stickley brothers combined technique and the highest quality materials with innovative and exciting designs, including new forms that appealed to the American public. This was furniture that was practical and long-lasting — and fashionable.
In the 1920’s, Leopold Stickley introduced the Cherry Valley Collection, a Colonial-inspired collection which proudly emulated the honourable traditions of early American life. After the Russian Revolution, America had started to look back into its history, distancing itself from anything that hinted of socialist sympathies.
During the 1970’s, interest and respect for handcrafted furniture waned, and the future of Stickley Furniture seemed bleak.
Yet Stickley was not to be abandoned – there were those who believed passionately in well-crafted furniture, particularly E.J. Audi, for years the leading seller of Stickley’s furniture in his Manhattan showroom.
His son, Alfred, and Alfred’s wife Aminy, were determined that the Stickley name, and its association with valued, unsurpassed craftsmanship, should live on, and not just as a memory. The Audi’s purchased the Stickley factory from Leopold Stickley’s widow, just as it faced closure. To the employees that remained Alfred gave his word that he would support them: “If you stick with me, I’ll stick with you, and we’re going to make this place move”. With this optimism and these employees (and many years of inspired labour) Stickley grew again and thrived, going on to become one of the most revered and successful furniture makers in American history. And all this achieved while continuing to manufacture in the continental United States.
In the fall of 2007, Alfred Audi sadly passed away. The Stickley legacy is continued by his wife, Aminy, and son Edward.
Hand craftsmanship and the finest materials (along with inspired design) distinguish Stickley furniture from other furniture lines. For example, each piece is built using the very best furniture-grade woods, especially quarter-sawn white oak, wild black cherry, American walnut and ash, and solid mahogany. (And Stickley have been responsibly sourcing their woods since day one, both locally and internationally, long before any ethical or legal requirements.) Then, an exceptional degree of hands-on work by skilled individual craftspeople is made possible in part by the use of ultra-efficient CNC cutting and trimming equipment.,
Construction and final assembly depend upon proven traditional joinery techniques such as,
– Pegged mortise-and-tenon joints (whether keyed, blind, through or exposed)
– Quadralinear posts
– Side-hung and centre-guided drawers
– Dovetailed cross rails
– Blind dovetails
– Book-sawn panels
– Tongue-and-groove glue joints
STICKLEY FINE UPHOLSTERY
Stickley Fine Upholstery is simply, the finest there is. An impressive variety of fabric choices to complement your personal taste, home and lifestyle. Traditional, sleek contemporary or casual exquisite comfort. Comfort and craftsmanship are infused in every piece we make.
Incorporating the following, but not limited to, unique construction features:
-Double doweled 5/4 kiln dried maple frames
-Marshall Unit Spring Backs ( Tight Sofa and Chair Backs)
-High Carbon Steel Hour Glass Springs for 8 Way Hand Knotted Support
-Steel Webbing to support Hour Glass Steel Network ( Hand Knotted)
Stickley furniture is a lifetime investment, an heirloom, that can be passed from one generation to the next. Something that very likely won’t ever end up in a landfill. Many feel, you don’t buy Stickley for oneself…you buy it for your grandchildren.
Ever Green-Ever Stickley
Furniture made in a manner that respects the world in which we all live. Incorporating sustainable timber. There is now more acreage of oak and cherry in America than there was a 100 years ago. This is in the real sense of the word is-Awesome.
Resource and energy efficient construction. Waste reduce to practically nothing as result of intelligent engineering and thoughtful construction.
..,Some of the factory heat is actually proved by sawdust.
Strong, long-lasting construction, high-quality materials, and designs that are both beautiful and practical, are the hallmarks of Stickley furniture. Stickley- built to last.