Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Furniture fit for a General

Last April, I read an article in Woodwork Magazine about Joe Cress, owner of Logan Creek Designs, and maker of reproduction Civil War Campaign Furniture. Until then, I never knew there was such a thing.

Over a decade ago, Joe's interest in the Civil War prompted him to visit the Virginia Military Institute, which houses some of the furniture he now replicates. Captivated by one piece in particluar—Stonewall Jackson's field desk—and a chance encounter with the museum's executive director led him to where he is today: a maker of "products belonging to three generals, all under license".

Among those products are Robert E. Lee's Camp Chest, J.E.B. Stuart's Field Desk, and Stonewall Jackson's Deathbed.

On his website is a downloadable pdf file of the Woodwork Magazine article and samples of his work. Of particular interest in the article is the fact that Joe purposely adds subtle inaccuracies in his pieces at the behest of places like the Smithsonian Institution. This, in an effort to derail people who try to pass reproductions off as original.

Joe lives one state away from me, in Virginia. I'd love to drop in on him someday and hopefully he'll agree to an interview. Maybe it would help persuade him if I dress in period costume. Anyone know where a gal can get a bustle?*

*Is anybody else totally creeped out by that last photo?