Woodworker... it's an honest word. -Sam Maloof

by gustav reyes

Sam Maloof (1916 - 2009)
Sam Maloof is one of the few male figures I respect as much as my own father. He once said he was simply a woodworker by his own account – to the rest of the world, he was a giant. His impact on my life is beyond words.
Maloof rose to greatness during the post war minimalist period of architecture. Sam’s desire to create organically modern furniture is described by author/ photographer of Maloof Beyond 90 -An American Woodworker Gene Sasse, “Sam approached each project with more than just an exacting eye for design and detail. Wood was carefully selected. Cut, honed, polished and joined together; ultimately the pieces of once living trees are resurrected to a new life as functional objects of the highest artistic merit.
In my mind, creation is a desire for our minds to expand beyond our physicality into a collective intellectual space. In this sense, whatever object becomes of this extension is in turn, a physical manifestation of the desire and the deep psychology of the artist. The work of Maloof evokes a strong reaction within my spirit. The beautiful forms he created suggest a man who was deeply connected to the material and at the same time showed a deep well of sensitivity to the world. 
Although he was a re-known woodworker who experienced fame and fortune, he never faltered in his philosophy and honesty to his craft. He always considered himself a woodworker, he said, "it's an honest word."