Thursday, January 28, 2010

Making it into the Times Home section

We were featured in today's New York Times Home section for our collaborative work with Green River Stone to create tables with fossil stone tops. Please see the full article here.

Some background:

The Times contacted us to do the story last week. We were so pleased and realize there is some luck in getting selected. After interviewing me over the phone from my shop for quite a long time, they sent a photographer to do a "portrait". I brought my Labrador retriever Gus to the shop with me last Sunday and met the Times photograper David Maxwell. David did a nice job and took countless photographs. Most of them involved trying to get Gus to pose with me or walk alongside me as we strolled through the shop to I guess look "natural". If you have ever photographed animals or children you know how difficult it is to get cooperation when you want it! I guess the Times photo editor nixed the Gus shots because they didn't make it into the paper. But I will be in touch with Mr. Maxwell and hopefully we can post some of them here soon. In the meantime, it has been cool to get contacted by many people across the country who know me who happened to open up the paper today and see someone that they know.

Doug Miller of Green River Stone and I met at the first anniversary party of the Filsinger Chicago Showroom where we both show about a year or so ago. We immediately started to talk about the idea of collaborating on some tables that would involve my designed wood bases and his stone tops. At the High Point Market this past October, Doug joined me in my Interhall showroom. We debuted the first two side table collaborations there and some of Green River's wall panels were installed as decorative accessories. Through asking questions of Doug about the process of quarrying the stone and preparing the fossils and viewing a video that documents the work, I developed a feel for their amazing product's fabrication.

The fossils are authenticated and certified by geologists and come with a certificate. These are the fossilized remains of animals and plants that existed in or near a lake 50 million years ago. (In the Times article the author caught me by surprise by asking about human fossils! There were no humans or hominids in North America until about 20,000 years ago.) Over time the lake dried up and was covered with many layers and layers of sediment and earth and compressed by the huge weight into limestone. Green River owns about 11 acres of this prehistoric lake. They quarry the stone during the warm weather months and transport the slabs back to their workshop in Utah. There the fossils are carefully excavated using surface evidence that has "telegraphed" through to the top layer in order to know where to cut in. The fossil is actually harder than the surrounding stone. The workers clean the fossil, but leave it in its identical state and color.

The stones themselves can be honed smooth or left naturally rough. The stone can be treated like any non-sealed granite counter top.

Strauss Furniture is building a dining table base for one of the large fossil stone pieces that Green River has quarried and will show in the Architectural Digest show this March 18-21, 2010 at Pier 94 in New York City.

We can build a custom buffet or console with a fossil stone top for you and would be happy to discuss any idea that you may have to utilize this historic, natural and conversation starting product. Please contact us at: or by calling (330) 456-0300