Gustav Stickley planned an Arts and Crafts utopian community in northern New Jersey
He marked all of his furniture with the Flemish words “Als Ik Kan” The translation – “As best as I can.” With a commitment to quality and a minimalist philosophy of craftsmanship, Gustav Stickley came to symbolize a growing movement in furniture. Known as Arts and Crafts style, Stickley’s work emphasized solid, simple, straight-lined forms that were free from extensive decoration and finished by hand. He also developed a technique that used ammonia fumes to give his Adirondack wood an attractive, nut brown hue. Beauty in furniture, Stickley believed, came largely from the color.
In 1911, Gustav Stickley built Craftsman Farms in Morris Plains, New Jersey, with the intent of creating a self-sustaining school where young boys could learn the value of hard work, academic study, and craft. Although the school never materialized, Stickley and his family resided at Craftsman Farms until 1915. There, they made good use of this one-of-a-kind oak armoire built especially for Craftsman Farms. It is made from quartersawn oak logs, another Stickley hallmark.