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Furniture maker William Stranger opens studio, launches sale

March 15, 2013|By David A. Keeps

Noted Pasadena furniture maker William Stranger will open his studio March 23 and 24 and offer his current inventory at half-off the retail price. “It’s nice to have all the pieces displayed in the place where they were built without having to find a gallery,” Stranger said. The corrugated metal building where he works is an old Navy facility where torpedoes were tested. “It’s a great looking space and it’s filled with tree slabs, and sometimes people fall in love with a piece of wood and get inspired to order a new piece.”

For the past 15 years, Stranger’s inspiration has been salvaged and recycled wood. Among the pieces on sale: the I Table, which the craftsman built for the “Forces of Nature” exhibition at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden featuring furniture and sculpture made from trees felled in a severe 2011 windstorm. Stranger used wood from a paulownia tree, a native of Asia used in Japan to make tansu cabinetry, to create the I Table, which he's reducing to $1,500.

"I chose a thin slab, removed the bark, flattened and sanded the board, then finished it with a linseed oil mix," Stranger said. "To contrast the organic form of the top, I fabricated a base from a piece of scrap I-beam discarded by a contractor neighbor."

Stranger has other designs that integrate reclaimed metal as well as burnt trees. For each piece, he looks for ways to personalize them.

"My wife gave me a set of punches that have letters of the alphabet on a piece of steel. I bang them with a hammer, and they make impression in the wood," he said. Many of them are political proclamations or lyrics from songs. "It's my way of documenting what I was feeling when I made each piece," Stranger said. The arboretum table is imprinted with: "In the path of a lightning bolt."

During the sale, the works on display will cost between $700 and $2,700. Stranger also will be making new pieces, including vases from $150 and salvaged wood mirrors from $350.

The studio sale is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 23 and 24 at 3202 E. Foothill Blvd #6h, Pasadena; (626) 840 4286;

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