It happened to be a coincidence that founder, Tom Moser, would be in our Boston showroom for an event on his 76th birthday. He had planned to talk about his new sculpture, Bella, on display in the showroom. To Tom's surprise, Chris and his team in our Boston showroom threw one wonderful surprise birthday fete and filled the showrom with longtime customers, friends and fellow Moser colleagues.
Tom spoke about his path in life, losing his parents at an early age, and leaving a tenured professorship to start Thos. Moser, all things that have helped form who he is today.
One of the highlights of the evening was when we got to present Tom with a book of well wishes from his friends and fans from around the world - we received over 200 notes for Tom in the week or so leading up to the event!
Thanks to all who attended and to our Boston Showroom for throwing such a fabulous bash!
Legendary fashion designers who are lauded for their stellar careers have something in common. Certainly, they develop an eye for the avant-garde and are celebrated as visionaries, but their enduring reputations are assured when they introduce classic collections that will stand the test of time. You can bet that when the beautiful people adorn the red carpet at the Academy Awards
this weekend, there will be an abundance of flowing fabrics sweeping down the famed walkway with couture labels naming the likes of Valentino, Versace and de la Renta nestled into the seams.
Just as the stars pay careful attention when choosing their fashion statements for the Oscars, Thos. Moser
customers—whom we’ve come to regard as the celebrities of our world—look to our furniture collections with an eye to classic lines that will become timeless treasures.
Take our Lolling Collection
—let’s call the chair and ottoman Audrey Hepburn’s little black dress to the frumpy frock of the nondescript recliner—which we see as the perfect fashionable choice when it’s chic comfort that’s desired. The collection comes in cherry and walnut, and also includes side tables—the requisite accessories, of course! Our Wing Collection
also soars with high style—its curvaceous chairs, settees and sofas, and graceful tables taking center stage in the most sophisticated of settings. The arcing arms are sculpted from blocks of solid cherry, carved and sanded to bring expressive beauty to the line.
We can’t help but channel one of the most notable grande dames of style, Coco Chanel, when it comes to the subject of fashion-forward choices for your home. She simply said, “Fashion fades, only style remains the same.” We couldn’t agree more!
What do you get when you take one part Tom Moser
, one part David Moser
and mix well? A refreshing cocktail of aesthetic sensibilities that brings a new liveliness to the Thos. Moser
concept of creating furniture with exemplary quality and exquisite craftsmanship. Essential to the blend are the classically inspired contours of collections like Tom’s Eastward
, a refined reinterpretation of an iconic design. Top this off with David’s sensually rich forms, such as in the American Bungalow
line, and a cosmopolitan inclination emerges. Wood is the common bond; a singular search for an authentic sensibility is the differentiation.
“David and I live in different worlds but there are principles to which we both subscribe,” explains Tom of their commonalities. “Big in my world is functionality and the aesthetics of a thing are important to me: I don’t feel the need for ornamentation for ornamentation’s sake. David has the same values, especially with the economy of material and the economy of form. We don’t subscribe to burdening a piece, to creating something that is laden with superfluous material.” Of their differences, he remarks, “David likes to be present in the product whereas I don’t mind sharing my designs with 6,000 Shakers
because I like to feel the trajectory of history.”
David’s presence in his work has a deep resonance, but it is one that arcs beyond history: it is a reverberation between art and design. “I approach design as a pragmatic blending of the two disciplines,” he says. “I’m not an artist, I’m a designer. Art serves only itself—take it or leave it—but design has many masters, whether they are economics or the question, ‘Can a thing be built?’ or a need to satisfy the legitimacy of fulfilling human necessity. Though what I design may be artful and sculptural, it’s still grounded in pragmatism so I don’t think of it as art, per se.”
David says of his inspiration for the American Bungalow Collection, “For years I have admired the refined aesthetic of Japanese design both in the form of architecture and furniture, principally Tansu
, and I've been particularly drawn to the Tori Gate
, a symbol of serenity and purity in form. Now add to the Tori Gate the emergence of Bungalow style architecture of the midwest, and bring the architectural elements together with Tansu through Moser’s unique filter: the result is a doctrine of restraint—the resulting fusion the American Bungalow Collection. “
Tom’s approach to building furniture is more incremental rather than revolutionary. “I believe the best human efforts are built on the past,” he remarks. “So much credit is given to 20th- and 21st-century accomplishments, such as technology and design, which we assume we have created from scratch. We have had a continuum of pre-learning from history in order to arrive at this place, so I like to call it readiness, as the groundwork has been laid for us.”
Tom recalls a trip to the Egyptian Museum
in Cairo when he was about thirty years old where he viewed furniture built by the Egyptians that he believes still has relevance today in terms of how it was made. “That trip informed what I have thought about since then when I’m designing,” he explains. “I differ from David in that he starts from pure form when he builds, not from historical context.”
Form, grace, historical context and pragmatism: these are the things we consider at Thos. Moser when we’re designing our furniture. We understand the significance of heritage thoroughly given our familial collaborations, and we hope our inspirations will remain iconic treasures for generations to come.
We’re guessing it hasn’t escaped your notice that today is our country’s annual celebration of Presidents Day
. We thought we’d take the opportunity to introduce you to a lesser-known side of Thos. Moser
that relates to this august occasion. We like to think of it as the erudite facet of our highly creative soul because it involves libraries, courthouses, senate chambers, embassies and dignitaries—both foreign and domestic.
Did you know that our furniture is in every University of Georgia
library that has been built or refurnished over the past ten years? Yep, and that’s quite a source of pride for us! Our own Aaron Moser
travels the country meeting with the movers and shakers involved in significant institutional renovations or building programs as they plan the interiors that will spring from their new initiatives. Most recently, he was given the task of reincarnating an iconic table missing from the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
at the University of Georgia. “The conference table of the former Senator is owned by the Office of Senate Curator
and is now being used by Vice President Biden
,” he explains. “We were asked to create a replica of the table for the library so I went to measure and take photos. I like to see this as one of the ways we at Thos. Moser preserve the past, bringing it forward and breathing new life into iconic pieces with historical significance. It makes what I do so enjoyable!”
We feel a tremendous level of respect for the relationships we’ve built in the halls of academia and in settings where some of the world’s most noteworthy political exchanges unfold. At one point in our recent history, we were called in as players in a very significant event
. “Last fall I was a judge at a competition of Texas furniture makers near San Antonio,” says Tom Moser
, explaining how our good fortune came about. “As a result we were asked to build the chairs that were later used by President Bush and His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
on the south lawn of the White House in April 2008 when the pontiff visited. Aaron, Andrew
and I were guests for the occasion, and were humbled and honored by our reception. Those two Harpswell Chairs
, while intrinsically the same as those being produced today, are now considered more valuable because of the cultural significance this provenance bestows upon them.”
Most invaluable to all of us at Thos. Moser is the knowledge that we had the opportunity to stand proud during this momentous occasion in the history of our country. For that, we are both grateful and honored, and we give a big hand to our cabinetmakers for nurturing the quality we set out to achieve, the foundation for such moments of gratifying recognition.
, the National Home and Living Examiner, recently caught up with David to get his take on being a member of the Moser clan and to find out how Thos. Moser’s designs have morphed since the early days over 39 years ago, when Tom launched the company with his Shaker-inspired furniture.
As David pointed out in the lively Q&A, he’s been in the family business, so to speak, since he was eight years old and he admits to having sawdust in his veins! That leaves a lot of well-traveled territory to cover: what was our favorite question asked by the designer-cum-interiors authority?
Q.: The design style has morphed quite a bit since the early Shaker style pieces, No?
D.: The great thing about learning is that once knowledge is acquired new horizons emerge and for creatively motivated people the desire to apply new knowledge and skill is ever present. In short, if individuals don’t grow they must by definition be in a state of decay. I for one would rather push our comfort zone of design identity and perpetual state of growth and challenge.
Embracing new horizons is one of our most prized philosophies at Thos. Moser and it is evident in the enthusiasm with which David approaches his contemporary take on traditional craftsmanship. Bridging the gap between the two is what we feel we do so well. Our deepest thanks to Andrea for bringing David’s convictions to the fore. If you’re itching to find out what project is captivating his attention at the moment, stop by Andrea’s page
and take a peek! Are you following us on Twitter
or “liked” our Facebook page
? We'd love to be connected. We'd also like to know if you have any stories about our company, products or fans that you'd like to see here. Leave us a comment to let us know: we're listening!
One of the things we’ve learned over the years is that there’s no fooling the true design devotee who has paid attention to what he or she likes in order to create a finely-honed sense of style. We’ve noticed lately that the quintessential Thos. Moser
collector defies prescribed age categories and stylistic pigeonholing; a shared characteristic is the fact they are particularly savvy in their tastes when introducing high style into their interiors.
Case in point is Melissa Coleman
, a writer for Maine Home + Design
and an author/blogger
, who welcomed us into her LEED-certified home to spend a day with her and her twin five-year-old daughters. Melissa and Eric Wallace own their delightful Freeport home in partnership with Robbie George of Colorado. We couldn’t wait to go behind the scenes with the young family and to discover the reasons that inspired Melissa to choose our furniture for the lovely home they’ve created.
TM: The average piece of American furniture travels 26,000 miles before landing in homes. Moser furniture travels less than 500 miles from the forest to the shop. Did that weigh into your decision to buy our furniture?
MC: We appreciate the fact that Moser furniture is made from trees harvested with sustainable practices and crafted in a workshop just 40 minutes away from us in Auburn, and that the furniture is intended to last as long as it took the tree to grow.
TM: We love seeing your girls busy at work at our dining table. How have your Moser pieces held up to the wear and tear of daily life?
MC: When we first moved in, our friends asked if we were afraid to let the kids near the Moser furniture. While we were hesitant at first, I’ve always liked the philosophy that precious things shouldn’t be hidden away but used and loved, so we’ve done just that. While we’ve had our share of scratches and dents, a little steel wool, Butcher’s wax, and TLC—or a visit from Moser’s magician, Marc Labonte—and the wood looks like new again. Once when the finish on our table couldn’t withstand the direct light from the large windows, Thos. Moser resurfaced it with a different finish and we haven’t had a problem with it since.
TM: You mix our traditional furniture like the Wing Sofa with more sculptural pieces like our Chaise. How did you decide which pieces to buy?
MC: When this house was on the market in 2008, the homebuilder worked with Freeport Community Services to host an open house with tours and home efficiency workshops. The event organizers brought in furniture from local and sustainable businesses, including pieces from Thos. Moser, which fit the look of the living and dining areas perfectly. When we bought the house in partnership with business partner, Robbie George, we thought it all worked so well, in fact, that we opted to include the Moser furniture. Moser then donated 10 percent of their profit from the sale to benefit Freeport Community Services.
To read more of Melissa’s take on collecting our furniture and to hear stories by other passionate patrons in our brand new 2011 Thos. Moser catalog
—which we call “MOSERstyle”—click here and order yours. You’ll be hearing about our new MOSERstyle
attitude a great deal in the coming months as we have just rolled out a lively online presence that we hope will encourage a dynamic interaction between our Thos. Moser friends, family and fans as we build a thriving community around an appreciation for what we do best.
We’d be thrilled if you’d take part in this lively dialogue! Visit the site
to upload stories and images of your own brand of MOSERstyle. If you enjoy social media connections, you can follow us on Twitter
and “like” our Facebook page
, which we regularly update with news and events. We’ve all got such great stories to tell and we'd love to hear yours, in your own words.
History’s greatest artists spent lifetimes steeped in explorations of the human form: think Peter Paul Rubens and Michelangelo, for instance, and ask yourself what could possibly have held the fixation of these masters more stunningly than the human body. We at Thos. Moser have an equally vivid fascination with the physique, which is no surprise given that we’ve created furniture to embrace the human form since Tom Moser made his first chair in 1972.
Those of you who know us well have watched as a new generation of Mosers has championed Tom’s passion for creating beautiful furnishings. Whether you are new to our story or not, you may be unaware that David, the youngest of the new guard, has been exploring his artistic side for some time. His sculptures are exhibited in the Thos. Moser showrooms, and if you visit, you’ll notice how the graceful fluidity of the female form holds sway in his creations.
This month Tom has unveiled a sculpture of his own, christened “Bella,” which he brought into being early last year while wintering in La Belle, Florida. The life-sized siren-like sculpture was created in the likeness of a neighbor who inspired Tom to ask if she would pose for him. The cast-in-bronze Bella, who figuratively sprung from these sittings, perches upon a granite base—her expression serene though slightly coy and her demeanor delicately poised. She will develop an appealing patina over time if placed outdoors, while indoors her finish will remain unaffected by the elements.
The prototype of Bella is ensconced in Tom’s home in Maine, and a limited edition of twenty is being sold through Thos. Moser showrooms in Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco and Washington, DC. “Replicating the human form in clay is a joyous experience,” remarks Tom. “Then seeing the effort cast in bronze through the lost wax process is magical.” Though the initial spark for the name Bella sprung from the central Florida town in which her visage was born, the word in Italian - meaning "beautiful girl" - makes it all the more fitting, doesn’t it?
Bella is the perfect timely feature today because not only is it Valentine’s Day (and who doesn’t love a beautiful sculpture?) but it's also New York Fashion Week, a premier celebration of the designers who complement the human form so expressively. Their collective inspirations for the fall couture season will be a delight to absorb, as they set the stage for fashion forward. Now that’s what we call living in the future!
We’re thrilled to note the Bangor Daily News featured our winsome gal recently. To see what the venerable paper had to say, click here.