Edited by Mark McMenamin -- Interior Design, 5/1/2010 12:00:00 AM
From an Indian ashram in the 1930's to furniture for Nelson Rockefeller in the 1970's, George Nakashima exemplified a generation of progressive craftsmen. And he's still blazing new trails—10 years after his death, he's making his NeoCon debut. Taking the bow on his behalf is George Nakashima Woodworker, guardian of his oeuvre.
After discovering a cache of never-produced drawings from the early '40's, his daughter, Mira Nakashima-Yarnall, began tweaking them to suit contemporary tastes and needs. The result is a six-piece collection called Shoki, Japanese for early years. Dimensions can be customized. Planes are slim and tailored, versus the free-edge slabs that later made him famous. However, Winged, a cherry console, has the exact same upturned edges as his sought-after Milk House table from 1943. Ligne, a swivel chair in walnut, hickory, rattan, and raffia, most resembles his original sketches. Intricate joinery, later abandoned, is evident in the walnut Dovetail bench. A low table, also walnut, combines an exposed dovetail with rounded legs. Bird's-eye maple fronts drawers on a walnut dressing table and the filing component of the walnut Patterson desk, which is outfitted to accept something that had not reached ubiquity by the World War II era: hanging folders. 215-862-2272; nakashimawoodworker.com. circle 426