We’re excited yet saddened with our preparations for the January 2015 Working Wood Symposium. This will be the first symposium since its inception in 1999 that our director, Jay Gaynor will not be present. The Working Wood Symposium was Jay’s baby, and it’s not going to be the same without him. Jay was excited with the theme of desks and the pieces we had chosen.
Entitled ‘Desks: The Write Stuff’, the program will feature four very different desks presented by Bill, Brian, Ted and I, as well as a Seymour lady’s writing desk with tambour by guest presenter Robert Millard.
Bill will be presenting the earliest piece, a Philadelphia scriptor. The maker, Edward Evans did us the favor of stamping his name and date, 1707, on the inside of the case. Turns out that it’s the earliest dated Philadelphia case piece! This will be an interesting exploration.
Ever heard of a southern block front? Sounds like an oxymoron to me. We’ve got a beautiful example in our collection, probably by a Norfolk, Virginia maker. Brian has been dressing out stock for his presentation of this desk.
These two pieces are quite a contrast with some of the urban English cases being made in tidewater Virginia. I’ll be looking at the Galt desk and bookcase in detail. There are some interesting structural and aesthetic refinements that we’ll be exploring.
Finishing out this century is an exquisite Seymour lady’s writing desk with tambour. The federal period is Robert Millard’s niche. Below is a piece from Robert’s web site, americanfederalperiod.com. We’re still canvasing museums for the particular piece to present.
As always there will be a lot of action, good food, camaraderie, tools, tours and entertainment. The full program will be posted in a couple of weeks on the Colonial Williamsburg web site. Till then, in the words of Jay Gaynor, “keep calm and carry on”.