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Sam Maloof: Still Making News at 93

comments (1) April 23rd, 2009 in blogs

David_Heim David Heim, Contributor
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Sam Maloof at work at the bandsaw

Yesterday, the National Public Radio newsmagazine "All Things Considered" broadcast a long profile of legendary furniture-maker Sam Maloof, shown above at the bandsaw. The piece was part of a series on the children of immigrants. If you missed it the first time, click here to listen to the segment.

Correspondent Neda Ulaby spent time with Maloof and his assistants at his shop, and recorded brief interviews with people who had come to tour the compound. Maloof was a little cranky. He'd just returned from a hospital stay and was under strict orders not to touch any woodworking machinery. But no one said he couldn't talk about woodworking, which he did in a voice that's admirably strong for someone who recently celebrated his 93rd birthday.

The NPR web site also includes a photo gallery of a dozen of Maloof's pieces--his signature rocking chairs, naturally, as well as some early pieces and a cradle that he completed only recently.

Maloof is no stranger to Fine Woodworking, of course. In FWW #42, he wrote "How I Make a Rocker," which laid out his methods. He's been the subject of several other articles and videos, including an interview we filmed with Maloof at his 90th birthday party. More recently, contributing editor Roland Johnson visited Maloof's compound and wrote about the experience for our "Woodworking Life" blog.

Rollie wrote: "Sam moves about his shop with the internal telepathy of one who has spent countless hours in close contact with machines, patterns, and countless piles of future furniture parts, deftly reaching for the tools and switches that will allow him to bring life to inert but beautiful boards. I was privileged to not only watch Sam at work but also to catch boards for him on the tablesaw and at the planer. Nirvana."

With luck, Maloof will outlast us all.

posted in: blogs, maloof, sam maloof, rocking chairs, All Things Considered, NPR, radio

Comments (1)

woodheat woodheat writes: Spending a day with Sam Maloof has been one of the highlights of my writing career. Sam has been so tremendously influential; just consider how many knock-off Maloof rockers have been and are currently being built. His personal story has inspired many novice woodworkers to give professional furniture making a try (myself included) and also many hobbyists have benefited from his willingness to share all he knows about woodworking. Long live Sam.

Posted: 2:24 pm on April 28th

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