Putting the Primal into Production: Dean Pulver
Synopsis: Dean Pulver combines the efficiency of machine work with the satisfaction of handwork to make his innovative tables. He got his production acumen from years of working in a 25-man production shop making Shaker furniture. His hand-tool romanticism came from the heart.
Dean Pulver brings a sculptor’s eye and a craftsman’s hand to the challenge of building distinctive furniture at speed. Pulver, who lives in Taos, N.M., studied sculpture in college, but afterward was drawn toward furniture and spent three years in a 25-man production shop building Shaker-style pieces.
He acquired machine skills there and an appreciation for efficiency. But after all the clean lines and flat surfaces, he was hungry for “the raw and honest feeling you get with handwork.” To make his current pieces, with their echoes of modernist sculpture and the primal quality of crafts from primitive cultures, Pulver works mostly by machine, which keeps them affordable. But to find the resonance he seeks between smooth and textured surfaces, he finishes the work with hand tools.
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