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Thos. Moser designs are not cutting-edge statements of current fashion, but rather a synthesis of what has been given us by craftsmen and designers of the past. They are timeless and, unlike style or fashion, have relevance across cultures and centuries.
A thread runs through Thos. Moser furniture that ties the discipline of classic Japanese joinery to the sentimentality of the Arts and Crafts movement of a century ago. It also ties the untutored aesthetics of the American Shaker period of the 1830s and ‘40s to the sophisticated and urbane German Bauhaus of the 1920s.
In their time, these design movements were revolutionary, but they had in common a distaste for ornament and ostentatious display. They were respectful of materials and celebrated the work of the human hand.
Dovetail joints achieve their particular beauty by the piercing of a flat surface with a darker end grain or "pin."
It is through simplicity of form and attention to detail and proportion that we achieve a well-designed piece. A piece from which nothing can be taken and to which nothing can be added.
Our Medium: Sustainable American Hardwoods
When we first started, economic necessity dictated that our furniture be made of pine, often recycled from old barn boards or attic floors. In time, American black cherry became our wood of choice. Why cherry? Because it is durable, can be beautifully tooled, and when oiled it quickly develops a sublime patina.
in the Allegheny Plateau of Pennsylvania, our premium grade cherry is distinguished by its rich grain figures and a uniquely lustrous surface patina that deepens in color over time. That is not to say we work only in cherry. Often customers ask for other darker or lighter finishes, and since we prefer not artificially color cherry, we also work in several other American hardwoods, including maple, ash, and walnut to meet their needs. Paired with the light-colored ash spindles and legs on our rockers and stools, walnut provides a striking visual contrast. We believe that whatever the species, all the wood we work with is precious and develops its own character over time.
Selecting the Right Boards
The art of board selection requires a singular ability to anticipate the evolution of a piece of wood, from the initial cutting of boards through the sanding, joinery, and finish work. Variations in American black cherry’s color and grain must be thoroughly worked out by our rough mill team during the initial board selection process so that the overall effect can remain quietly harmonious to the eye. In this case, beauty begins at the woodpile.
The Natural Aging Process of Cherry
Our hand-rubbed oil and wax finishes, though labor-intensive, allow for the natural aging process of cherry which gives our pieces a beautiful and rich patina. Air and sunlight will color the cherry with a subtlety unmatched by anything that comes from a can. Beginning as light as the top sample shown at right, it reddens within weeks, and eventually acquires the deep, rich color shown at the bottom.
Other species of wood also enjoy a dynamic aging process. When polished and oiled, walnut immediately assumes the deep brown color of bittersweet chocolate, then lightens over the years to a honey brown. Maple and ash will tend to have a more yellow patina that develops over time.
Over time our cherry furniture develops a naturally deep, reddish patina. Click the image to enlarge.
Click on the links below to learn more about the Thos. Moser aesthetic, in the words of our founder Tom Moser...
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