Recently I had the pleasure of attending the Stickley Road show. For the uninitiated, the Stickley Road show is a presentation about the history of, and construction techniques used by The L & JG Stickley Furniture company. The show highlights the expert knowledge, both as a woodworker and long-time second-generation employee of L & JG Stickley, of Mike Danial. For the past 35 years, Mike Danial has been waking up to spend his days uncovering the history of one of America’s most legendary furniture makers. Following in the footsteps of his great uncle, Mike began making furniture at the Stickley factory in central NY when he was 19 years old. His expertise in cabinetmaking and finishing took a new turn when he uncovered a long-lost mission oak furniture catalog, half buried in dirt in the basement of the old Stickley factory. When the old Stickley mission designs saw the light of day again in the late 1980’s, the company set its sights on recapturing the past with renewed vigor. As the Project Director of the Mission Oak Collection, Mike was a behind-the-scenes pioneer in the Arts and Crafts revival we are seeing across America today. Mike covers the full gamut of furniture topics from construction, care, and repair; to designers, influences, and place in the broader Arts and Crafts movement. But by far, at least for me, the most interesting aspect were the stories Mike tells of the men and women, who for the last 109 years or so have made Stickley furniture what it is today. As L & JG Stickley’s official company historian, and Grand Poohbah of the Stickley Road Show, Mike is one of those rare presenters who is both engaging and able to make stories come to life. His passion for Stickley furniture is obvious and contagious. While the shows are often sponsors by Stickley’s network of retail dealers, Mike can also be scheduled to appear at local Guilds, Collectors Clubs, or other interested groups. Mike is a tireless promoter of Stickley furniture who believes the furniture, and the built-in quality sell themselves. And after touring the Stickley factory (another blog entry for another day), I can say Mike speaks the truth.
To learn more about Stickley’s Road show visit the museum’s website. There you’ll also find the shows schedule. For correspondence you can email the musuem at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach them via phone at 315.682.5500