Jeffry Lohr's Artist Statement
work embraces the turn of the last century’s Arts and Crafts movement except I
don’t much care for what is typically defined as “Mission Furniture” which
often takes the form of painfully boxy looking casework and seating pieces
looking like second cousins to an electric chair.
What I’ve done in my own work is soften the harshness of the typical
hard edge of traditional Mission style furniture and dispense with the notion
that the style be executed in quarter sawn white oak and/or mahogany.
My color pallet for my work is naturally finished Pennsylvania black
walnut, figured black cherry, and sometimes figured maple.
All of this material, if selected carefully, can be among the richest and
deepest figured woods in the world. I
spend an inordinate amount of time tracking down the best of these domestic
species and I think it definitely shows in my work.
The first comment from most folks that see my furniture is how breathtakingly
beautiful they find the wood. I'll always give Mother Nature the credit
for this, but it is no accident that the wood itself is the tour de force
in my work. In fact if you check out my Live Edge Free Form Furniture
Pages on this web site you will see I'm moving much more into natural forms
that pay much heavier homage to the living tree from which all wood comes. This
new work marries in part, the unique arts and crafts flavor of which I am widely
known but is considerably more contemporary and I feel exciting in
presentation. Regardless, I believe my furniture designs to be attractive, comfortable, and
often clever, but what gives my Arts and Crafts designs and my newest free form
pieces their uncommon appeal is
my passion for figure in wood and how I use it in composition. For
example, if I want to visually loft a portion of a given design, I select
straight, tight grained material for the dominant vertical members of the piece.
Likewise, I will use random grained material to compress areas that I want to
visually shorten. Finally, and most importantly, the large field areas of
a work will showcase the most beautiful natural figure I am able to reveal.
Because wood is a natural material, there is a huge diversity in the
quality of any given species of wood. The most beautifully figured grades are
hard to come by, difficult to work, and require such care in their match-up with
adjacent boards that many furniture manufacturers actually choose to avoid them.
The curious nature of highly figured material makes it the enemy of the assembly
line due to it's inconsistent limited supply and it's often problematic working
characteristics. However, to a studio furniture maker like myself,
exquisite dramatically figured wood is indispensable and is the material of
choice. In addition to the strength of form in my designs, my selection
and thoughtful use of figure is what will always set my work apart from anything
The main source of inspiration for my work are the Greene brothers and
Frank Lloyd Wright but I have no desire to reproduce or replicate their work.
I prefer to produce my own new designs using these past greats as
inspiration. What I usually
come up with are designs that I like to call “High Style Arts & Crafts”.