Wharton Escherick – Spiral Library Ladder

Artist Name:  Wharton Escherick
Title:  Spiral Library Ladder
Details:  The first was made in 1966 out of walnut.  Several more were made in walnut and cherry, left- and right-handed.

Why It’s Notable:

Jonathan Fairbanks, an authority of American furniture design described it as “one of the great masterpieces of American furniture, perhaps the most wonderful work ever produced in American furniture.  It is pure sculpture, yet at the same time it is beautiful furniture”.

I love this piece because its form appears so simple, yet complex at the same time.  The success of the design relies on curves, joinery, sculpture, and careful proportions.  It appears sturdy while lightweight at the same time.

Australian Wood Review #74 (March 2012)

My most recent woodworking article (which I co-wrote with Charles Mak) is featured in issue #74 (March 2012) of Australian Wood Review (AWR).

Our article shows how to build a folding ladder that Charles designed and I built.  The ladder does not fold the way that you would expect – the rungs have pivot points at the ends and disappear into the rails.  You can order your copy from the AWR store.


Yep, that’s me in the lead photo!

Charles is a woodworker who lives in Calgary.  He is a maker of automata and a frequent contributor of tips to woodworking magazines.  (His first published article was about automata and appeared in Lee Valley’s September 2008 Woodworking Newsletter.)

Sheep Shearer, an automata by Charles Mak