Saturday, February 7, 2009


I read a very interesting article in The Washington Post by Jason Wilson about the origins and evolution of the martini. While the subject of martinis is not top of mind for me, I found this all very insightful and so, so true.

My father is one of those who began drinking gin martinis in college, you know, back in the 1950’s, smoking a pipe, wearing a coat with the patches on the elbows. It was the rage of the time. Later, when I was becoming of legal age, I fondly remember mixing him drinks where I would splash vermouth over the top only, or just say the words over the glass.

I remember sitting around with my father on one of the many fishing trips to Chincoteague Island, VA. The day was done, and we were regaling in our daily pack of lies, otherwise known as the fish stories of the day. He and I sat around drinking “martinis” made his way…no vermouth. I thought I would die. Talk about harsh.

In the article, Derek Brown says “when people finally experience a martini with unique and artisanal ingredients, it makes a world of difference”. The whole point of the article is that we Americans have somehow managed to stray from the original composition and intention of the martini.

I think that the furniture world has managed to stray from tried and true practices. When I show people a dovetail or mortise and tenon joint, they are just amazed this sort of joint is still created. The concept of wood from the trees stops people for a moment. When I say walnut, I don’t mean a walnut color, I mean a walnut tree – as furniture makers for centuries have intended it to be. So mix a real drink, and get some real furniture.


Adam said...

"Vodka Martini. Shaken, not stirred."

What a terrific comparison! You never really know what you're missing until the best is presented to you. Then, how can one ever go back? In the world of studio furniture, our exposure seems to be narrower than ever of late, but with articles like this, it won't be long 'till everyone's ordering the best from the bar!

Mark Gatterdam said...

There are so many arguements for ordering "the best", whatever the craft. It's so much more satisfying, it is more green, it is ultimately a better value.

"In 50 to 100 years, good oak furniture will be worth many times its cost. For the time is coming when it will be valuable on account of its permanent worth and its scarcity."
Gustav Stickley, 1909