Furniture, an intimate part of our homes and our lives, evokes a unique response from every individual. Some apply words like "beautiful," "handsome," and "elegant" to their description of fine furniture. Others characterize it by sureness of quality and soundness of construction. Many refer to artistry: a passionate eye for design and a steady hand for detail. Others prefer function – the assurance that their furniture will last for years to come.
At L&JG Stickley, we recognize all these opinions as valid. Not just that – they are truly valuable to our mission to create the finest furniture. For over 100 years, Stickley has prided itself on offering customers a wide spectrum of choices for furnishing their homes. We understand and honor the criteria each customer brings to the important selection process. Home is, after all, the most honest reflection of you. The furniture you choose must convey your style fluently. We appreciate your shrewd attention to aesthetics. We value your regard for lasting durability. We applaud your desire to fill your home with art. Stickley furniture appeals to the full range of personalities – classic, modern, eclectic, refined. The common denominator uniting all our pieces: unparalleled craftsmanship. It is this that is the basis for all fine furniture.
What distinguishes superior craftsmanship from the merely good? It all begins with the materials. Fine furniture is constructed from the highest quality woods. At Stickley, we import the best woods from secure sources around the world – a practice that began with our founder, Leopold Stickley. A perfectionist in the best sense of the word, Leopold personally inspected shipments of lumber and rejected the boards that failed to meet his standards. The company is equally demanding today. We use the finest solid white oak, cherry, and mahogany as well as other robust woods from around the world; faithfully ensuring the lasting beauty and integrity of our furniture.
To craft fine furniture requires skilled hands and a rare creative vision. Our Stickley craftspeople don't just make furniture – they create art. They derive true satisfaction from crafting wood into the cabinets, dressers, tables, chairs, beds, and armoires that our customers proudly display in their homes. The artisan's hands are the vital component of the Stickley furniture-making process. They deftly employ time-tested, durable methods such as mortise and tenon and dovetail joints. They give every piece of furniture its distinct, striking proportions, its curves and planes and angles – its physical essence.
When the Stickley brothers founded the company over a century ago, they recognized that efficient machinery only enhanced the craftsman's skill and vision. Ever since then, Stickley has utilized sound and innovative technology to prepare our lumber and press and shape parts. The marriage between traditional hand technique and machine technology creates, in the words of Leopold Stickley, a "thoroughly modern product" – unerringly beautiful, perfectly designed for the present and the future.
In addition to the creator's keen knowledge of the craft, fine furniture requires the application of proven construction methods. For many years, Stickley has set the industry standard for blending time-honored techniques with signature touches. Our furniture showcases the finest joinery methods, often inspired by artisans from medieval times through America's own colonial cabinetmakers. These methods give our furniture its enduring strength and profound decorative value. Stickley's construction features are complemented by signature design elements that vividly express the rare measure of our brand.
Every piece of Stickley is a custom work of art. The individual boards are hand-selected for grain symmetry and beauty. Every drawer is hand-fit to its opening. Every door is hand-fit to its case. Each table leaf is meticulously hand-fit to its table in its allotted order. This process makes evident the passion, skill, and pride that goes into our craft – as do the initials of the craftsman, which appear on every piece of Stickley furniture requiring such fitting.
Each and every Stickley piece is meticulously hand-sanded – a now uncommon occurrence in the craft of furniture-making. In addition to ensuring the piece's perfect fit, hand-sanding primes our furniture for the next and final step: finishing.
Finishing is intimately linked to the beauty of fine furniture. A good finish enhances the natural wood grain and coloring rather than hiding it – a fine finish should be transparent, not opaque. It is an involved process, requiring from the craftsman a scrupulous commitment to detail. Our craftspeople use a variety of custom stains applied in multiple thin layers to keep the final results clear, with a final layer of lacquer to protect the finish.
Once the stains and lacquers are applied and allowed to dry, the finish is rubbed by both hand and hand-held devices. Hand-rubbing, like hand-sanding, is a little-used practice in today's furniture industry, as it represents a time-consuming and expensive process. It is a process that Stickley deems essential to the craft of fine furniture. The hand-rubbing technique distinguishes our finishes, giving them the wholly unmistakable look of Stickley.
Superior craftsmanship, timeless design, and a true passion for surpassing a customer's expectations. These traits are the benchmark of fine furniture manufacture. Stickley pledges to embody all three qualities, and to take them one step further. We're not content to make just fine furniture. We aim for – and achieve – the exceptional.