(The Taunton Press; 1989)
SETH STEM'S FURNITURE would be right at home in a modern, multi-million-dollar Bel-Air manse. While this book doesn't tell anyone how to make furniture, Stem, a well-known furniture designer and teacher, details a series of steps in a basic design process. He also presents many full-color photographs of dazzling contemporary pieces: Garish Memphis-style chairs, sleek tables, and downright weird cabinets are offered as examples of the furniture-maker's art and the designer's achievement. Stem includes drawings to illustrate his design points: "An Exercise in Proportioning," for instance, shows seven different vertical cabinet rectangles, each with distinct details that seem to alter its shape.
Stem also provides standard furniture measurements, drawing techniques, a list of necessary tools for design and suggestions for making models and mock-ups--just about everything a designer needs except the imagination.
The book is intended for the experienced, professional furniture maker. But don't let that daunt you; the pictures and the process are engrossing even to furniture spectators. ($24.95)