THE FURNITURE OF THOMAS LONG
Much like his sculptural work, Thomas Long’s furniture design draws from an eclectic range of influences.
My first attraction to furniture design was inspired by French art nouveau, a period that dates from the 1890’s and into the early 1900’s. You can see this influence very clearly in my Loveseat piece. I was also inspired by the Egyptian art in the “Treasures of Tutankhamun” exhibit that toured American museums in the late 1970’s. That exhibition included furniture from ancient Egypt which stimulated the creative process for the design of my furniture. – Thomas Long
Long’s earliest work is distinguished by the use of richly textured and exotic hardwoods with finishes that emphasize the natural beauty of the material. Wenge, a very dense, medium textured dark hardwood from Central West Africa is a prominent material used in the Loveseat and the Daybed. Both of these pieces also feature tapestry fabric created by Long’s sister, the artist Margaret Matson. The richly patterned figuring of lacewood and Brazilian satinwood are drawn out with patterned shaping and enhanced with clear finishes.
Later work, such as the Parrot Altar, and the Side table are crafted from Honduran mahogany, a very uniform, stable and relatively soft wood that lends itself to carving. The look of both these pieces is suggestive of a ritualistic purpose. Both are finished with multiple coats of oil based enamel that Long has rubbed through to create the appearance of many years of use.