Thomas Stangeland has been crafting fine furniture for more than 15 years. Recently, he was commissioned to furnish the Greene & Greene Presidential and Vice-Presidential suites at Disney's new Grand Californian Hotel. His work has also been featured in news articles and magazines. Tom Stangeland lives in Seattle with his wife, poet Joannie Kervran Stangeland, and their three children.
Tom began to make things when he was a child, building and flying model airplanes before turning to furniture. When he was 18, Tom headed to Seattle, where he earned a degree in history from the University of Washington, and also worked as a dinner chef in a popular Seattle restaurant. Tom sees a very clear connection between crafting a fine chair and making a good meal: start with the best ingredients, the finest wood.
Tom studied woodworking with master furniture builder/designer Emmet Day. What started as an odd job-a way to earn extra money on a remodeling project-evolved into a woodworking apprenticeship. In 1984, Tom took his four-year-old son, Jamie, to Normandy, where he renovated a 16th-century Normandy manor house. When he returned to the states, he resumed his apprenticeship with Emmet Day until 1988, working primarily with the clean curves and sumptuous details of the Art Deco style.
In 1991, someone handed Tom a photo of the Blacker House arm chair, and asked whether he would be able to make one like it. "If I can make that chair," Tom replied, "I can make any chair." That was Tom's introduction to the Greene & Greene style of the Arts & Crafts Movement, and his enthusiasm for the movement's philosophies and craft has strengthened through the years. From that first piece based on the Blacker House chair, Tom has expanded his interpretation of the style, designing furniture that speaks to the language of Greene & Greene while making an individual statement.
Each piece is crafted with unswerving attention to details-the joinery, the inlays, and the finish. Tom believes that a table should be able to seat a family, and that a chair must be not only aesthetically pleasing, but comfortable and built to last.
Over the years, Tom has trained 10 apprentices. He is a member/owner of Northwest Fine Woodworking (NWFWW) and a member of Northwest Designer Craftsman, a juried crafts organization. He participated in the founding Conference of Woodworkers Alliance for Rain Forest Protection (WARP). He also wrote the rain-forest policy for NWFWW and organized the first rain-forest-safe show. Tom has also served as a lecturer at the Historic Seattle Bungalow Home Show, and Bellevue and Seattle Central community colleges.
Orange County Register May 15, 2000
Eastside Journal May 4, 1997
Seattle Times Apr. 30, 2000; Oct. 25, 1998; Jan. 18, 1998;
May 17, 1995; May 30, 1993; Jan. 5, 1989
Style 1900 Feb. 2001
Fine Woodworking 25th Anniversary Commemorative,
Dec. 2000; May 1994
Home Furniture Apr. 1997; Spring 1996; Summer 1995
Woodworker West May 2000
Seattle Homes and Lifestyles Nov. 2000
Interior Design Oct. 1997
Seattle Magazine Oct. 1994
Woodshop News Dec. 1992
The Crafts Report May 1991
Desks Outstanding Projects from America's Best Craftsmen, Andy Charron, 2000
Arts and Crafts Style and Spirit Craftspeople of the Revival, Chase Ewald, 1999
Fine Woodworking Design Book V, VI, VII, The Taunton Press, 1990, 1992, 1996
Northwest Home and Garden, KIRO Seattle, May 1995, May 1994
The Craftsman Weekend, Pasadena, Calif.: Oct. 2000, Oct. 1999
Northwest Fine Woodworking One Man Shows: May 2000, Sept. 1998, May 1997, June 1992
Northwest Fine Woodworking Group Shows: July 1996, Nov. 1990, Oct. 1989, Oct. 1988
Pacific Coast Arts and Crafts Exposition: Oct. 1996, Oct. 1995, Oct. 1994, Oct. 1993
Western Washington University Chair Exhibit: Nov. 1994
Bellevue Art Museum: July 1989
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