A New Book On Greene & Greene Furniture By David Mathias

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Blog entry by Todd A. Clippinger posted 08-29-2010 06:56 AM 17712 reads 2 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I Can Hardly Wait!

A few days ago I ordered a new book titled Greene & Greene Furniture: Poems Of Wood & Light by David Mathias. I held off from ordering it because once I officially placed my order the impatience would set in. Now I am like a kid waiting for Christmas morning and I can hardly stand it.

Greene & Greene Cover

My woodworking has it’s roots in remodeling. As I did design research for my remodeling business, I became acquainted with the well-known Craftsman and Prairie style structures and furnishings.

I also discovered these really cool homes called the “Ultimate Bungalows” by Charles & Henry Greene. Like the aforementioned styles, not only was there an architectural application, but also amazing furniture and furnishings were designed to complement the homes as well. I have since been captivated by this design style.

Since I am constrained in my projects by client’s needs and what is appropriate for their house, I do not have anything in my portfolio that directly reflects the Greene & Greene style, but the influence is still there in my thought process. My wish list of projects, should I get to build them, will reveal what Greene & Greene influence has been bottled up inside of me.

On To The Book

The author, David Mathias, may sound familiar to many woodworkers and for good reason, he has authored a number of articles for Popular Woodworking covering Greene & Greene projects and details.

What excites me about this book is that David is covering a lot of the intimate details and construction of the Greene & Greene style with a furniture maker’s perspective. A quick look at the Table of Contents at his site leaves me drooling like a Pavlovian dog wanting the juicy treats.

The sneak preview of photos further elevates my anticipation. It is clear that this book will be full of amazing photographs. As a person interested in design, there is nothing like a book full of great images for referencing and inspiration.

David was kind enough to send me the photos from the book and allow me to use them to share with you guys. (Thanks Dave;)

Bureau DrawerDetail

The book is coming out in the first week of September. If you are interested in ordering a copy, especially a signed copy like I did, check out David’s site:

More To Come From David

Not only has David written for Popular Woodworking, but he also has been published in Style 1900. He has another article coming out in November’s issue of Style 1900 and be sure to keep an eye on future issues of American Bungalow and Arts & Crafts Homes And The Revival. He has some articles coming in the next year or so with these publications. It won’t be too hard for me to watch for his articles, I read all of these magazines anyway:)

In A Nutshell

I can’t give a review of the book because I don’t have my copy yet. What I can see at his site in photos and blog content looks pretty promising, that is why I can hardly wait to get my copy.

I love my books, they are my favorite tool, and I am really excited about a new book covering the Greene & Greene works from a furniture maker’s perspective.

Stop by David’s site and check it out for yourself at Be sure to take a look at the blog, it gives a hint of the things to come in the book and also covers some great topics on design for both furniture and architecture. Remember, as a furniture maker architecture is important to you, they are closely related.

Disclaimer: I paid for my copy, it is not a freebie or “freebie for review” so I am not swayed by a give-away nor was I compensated for anything I have shared here, it was out of pure personal excitement for this book.

One more cool thing, David made a video trailer for the book.

Your friend in the shop,

Todd A. Clippinger

Share the Love~Share the Knowledge

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

16 comments so far

View Troy's profile


186 posts in 3572 days

#1 posted 08-29-2010 07:42 AM

One day I am going to make it to Pasadena, CA to see the Gamble House.

Great post, definitely a must buy, preferably signed.

-- Troy Bouffard || Master Sergeant, US Army (Retired) ||

View DenverDave's profile


41 posts in 3359 days

#2 posted 08-29-2010 07:46 AM

Beautiful furniture. The style resembles machinery.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4608 days

#3 posted 08-29-2010 07:58 AM

Troy – I am thinking more and more that a trip to Pasadena is a must. I think my wife would say “Let’s Go!”

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18671 posts in 4184 days

#4 posted 08-29-2010 09:15 AM

Nice preview Todd. Thanks, you’re tempting me :-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View jlsmith5963's profile


297 posts in 3857 days

#5 posted 08-29-2010 06:41 PM

For those interested in a broad understanding of the history of Henry and Charles Greene’s I would recommend Greene & Greene Architecture As Fine Art. The book discusses every one of their projects (with pictures and drawings) which puts the more famous works in some context. Also, while the author is clearly sympathetic to their work he does discuss the ups and downs of their careers.

-- criticism: the art of analyzing and evaluating the quality of an artistic work...

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4608 days

#6 posted 08-29-2010 06:45 PM

jlsmith – thanks for the lead on what looks to be another interesting book on the works of Greene & Greene. I have not seen that one and it looks to be a good one too.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3615 days

#7 posted 08-29-2010 07:07 PM

Thanks for the heads up, Todd. Rand

View blackcherry's profile


3343 posts in 4331 days

#8 posted 08-29-2010 07:42 PM

Look forward in purchasing as well, thanks for the heads up…Blkcherry

View bfaubion's profile


21 posts in 3482 days

#9 posted 08-29-2010 08:30 PM

You should add to your library the excellent book from fellow Lumberjock Darrell Peart
In it Darrell discusses the construction details used by the Hall brothers to build the iconic pieces designed
by the Greene brothers and he includes instruction on how to create them using modern tools.

If you check out Darrell’s website: you will see that he
is a master of this style who makes his living creating furniture with strong G&G influences.


View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4608 days

#10 posted 08-29-2010 09:03 PM

you are right Bryan. I also have Darrel’s book and I got it signed too as a bonus. Darrell does great work and is a good guy for Sharing the Love & Sharing the Knowledge.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Jack Barnhill's profile

Jack Barnhill

366 posts in 3874 days

#11 posted 08-29-2010 09:09 PM

For those who are interested; Jim Ipekjian is another expert in Greene & Greene reproductions. You can find his website here. Be sure to check out the Gallery.

More information about Jim and his work can be found in this Popular Woodworking article by Robert Lang.

And, it is my understanding that Jim will be leading “Details and Joinery” tours at the Gamble House this fall. Information about the tours is located at this link.

-- Best regards, Jack -- I may not be good, but I'm slow --

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4608 days

#12 posted 08-29-2010 09:46 PM

Jack – Yes, Jim is one of the leading authorities on Greene & Greene.

Jim Ipekjian, Darrell Peart, and David Mathias are all very active on the Yahoo Greene & Greene Furniture Group.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Jack Barnhill's profile

Jack Barnhill

366 posts in 3874 days

#13 posted 08-29-2010 09:50 PM

Thanks for the link, Todd. I wasn’t aware of that group.

-- Best regards, Jack -- I may not be good, but I'm slow --

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4608 days

#14 posted 08-29-2010 10:07 PM

Jack – I started a paragraph adding it and the other guys, but I did not want to digress to far from the book.

I just heard from David and I am guessing that I will get my book in 10-12 days if all goes as planned.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View dmath's profile


23 posts in 4643 days

#15 posted 08-29-2010 10:49 PM

I’d like to thank Todd for posting his very kind preview of my book. I hope he is as positive after he receives his copy.

There are good comments here. There are a number of other very good books about the Greenes and their work. In addition to Darrell’s book and the Makinson book mentioned, I’d recommend Ted Bosley’s Greene & Greene. I don’t think there could be a more complete biography of the brothers. Also, Makinson’s The Passion and the Legacy is very beautiful.

I’d like to say just a bit about how I see my book as distinct from the others. I think the primary difference is that I’m a woodworker. Darrell is, of course, a woodworker as well—infinitely better than am I. The difference is that Darrell wrote a woodworking book (which I have and love) while I wrote a general book about the work of Greene & Greene but from a woodworker’s perspective. I bring a woodworker’s eye for detail and unlike the other coffee table books on the subject, I present photos of the insides and undersides of pieces – as many as I could. Here’s a link to the preface of the book which explains my approach:

On my website, I have an animated preview that presents the first two chapters. The format is too small to be able to read the text but it gives an excellent feel for the photos and presentation. Here’s the link:

Someone mentioned Jim Ipekjian. Jim is the preeminent Greene & Greene furniture maker on the planet, in my opinion. He was very helpful to me while I was working on the book. There are many photos of his work since his pieces populate the Blacker house. I should mention that there are photos in the book from the Gamble, Blacker, Thorsen, Ford, Robinson, Charles Greene, Ranney, van Rossem, Cole, Bolton and Pitcairn houses as well as others. In addition, pieces in 10 or 12 museums are represented. Some archival photos are used but most are new.

I will be happy to answer questions about the book, or sell you a signed copy. :) Visit my website and blog, probably the only Greene & Greene themed blog on the internet. Thanks again to Todd and to all of you for your interest.

David Mathias
[email protected]

-- David Mathias,

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