Article: Handcrafted Modern
The spiral staircase in Wharton Esherick’s home.
Leslie Williamson’s new book, “Handcrafted Modern,” takes a look at designers both well-known and not, but hers is not the oft-trodden approach of a few pages of slick photographs and a profile of famous buildings and homes. Instead, Williamson takes designers like Eames and Gropius as well as several lesser-knowns like J.B. Blunk and John Kapel and makes an informal visit to their own homes or the homes where they once lived, so long as the new residents have left them mostly unchanged. The result is not only an introduction to some new designers worth knowing as well as photographs that are much more intimate than those normally seen in interior design books (Ray Eames’ bobby pins left out on her nightstand or Walter Gropius’ name written on the labels of his towels), but Williamson makes the case that even those staunch icons of Modernism have elements of the handmade in their work.