Collaboration: “The Blessings of Harvest”

As designers we are fortunate to collaborate with many talented artists, artisans, makers, and fabricators. When we connect with others whose aesthetic and ideology dovetail perfectly with our own, the experience, and the results, of working together are truly a blessing. When it comes to rewarding collaborations, Erickson Woodworking is top on our list.

Erickson Woodworking, a most talented Northern California furniture Studio, has been making studio furniture for more than 40 years. Their work is represented in various collections, including the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Yale University Art Gallery. We have collaborated with them on a number of tables. Shown below is the latest of these creations, which they have generously named the “Lazzaro” table.

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Whether it’s architecture, interior architecture, interior design, furnishing or decorating, at Nicholas Lawrence Design Associates, “the most important thing about design is how it relates to people.” Robert and Tor Erickson agree.

“At Erickson Woodworking we make enduring, functional objects that are beautiful to behold and that fit like well-made clothes. When people talk about craft, discussions tend to focus on tools, materials and techniques. The question that often goes lost is: does the use of this object give pleasure to its owners? Does it make their lives better? When someone first sits in one of our chairs, their pleasure is immediate and evident. We hear all the time from people who have owned our chairs for decades that the startling comfort they initially experienced in using the piece has endured. In the end, this is what matters most.”

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It may be that the crisp November mornings are inspiring us to wax poetic, or the beauty of the rich figuring in the finely sculpted and lovingly finished wood of these tables—We can’t help but feel grateful for these collaborations, and proud to work with these fine fellows– these fine American– Californian artists.

In our studio, a musical score often plays in the background. Today it is Aaron Copland’s “The Tender Land.” His musical setting of Erik Johns’ (aka Horace Everett) inspired text conveys our feelings perfectly:

The Promise of Living

“The promise of living with hope and thanksgiving
Is born of our loving our friends and our labor.
The promise of growing with faith and with knowing,
Is born of our sharing our love with our neighbor.
The promise of loving, the promise of growing,
Is born of our singing in joy and thanksgiving.

For many a year we’ve know these fields
and know all the work that makes them yield.
We’re ready to work, we’re ready to lend a hand.
By working together we’ll bring in the blessings of harvest.

We plant each row with seeds of grain,
and Providence sends us the sun and the rain.
By lending a hand, by lending an arm,
Bring out the blessings of harvest.

Give thanks there was sunshine, give thanks there was rain,
Give thanks we have hands to deliver the grain.
O let us be joyful, O let us be grateful to the Lord for his blessing.

The promise of living, the promise of growing,
The promise of ending is labor and sharing and loving.”

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