I am deeply saddened by the passing of a woodworking legend, a master craftsman, and a source of inspiration.
The photo on the right appeared in the Press-Enterprise newspaper, of Riverside, CA. I attended the University of California at Riverside (UCR), only about 30 minutes from Rancho Cucamonga, the home of Sam Maloof. At the time I was not yet involved in woodworking seriously. As a result, I never visited the Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts. But I already plan to visit, next time I go see my parents; and I will also go to the Riverside Art Museum, which contains some of his pieces as part of the permanent collection.
Sam Maloof was an inspiration to many people, including myself. From humble beginnings, to a world-famous artist, he accomplished what many people only wish: Creating an entirely new look in his famous rocking chairs (photo at left; this photo also appears in the Press-Enterprise article). His cabinets-on-stand has been emulated the world over, including yours truly. And on and on.
Working everyday even as his eye sight failed, he once said “I am very pleased I can still work”. I invite you to read the story from the Press-Enterprise; I believe it will inspire you. An amazing fact: Sam Maloof never measured – he preferred to mark all lines with his pencil, then constructed the rough piece. His assistants, “the boys”, did the finish work.
I love my craft for several reasons; but Sam Maloof was one of the main reasons.