Stender, Thomas

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STENDER, Thomas

PERSONAL: Male. Education: Ph.D.

ADDRESSES: Home—Buffalo, NY. Office—1101 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY 14222. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Writer, craftsman, furniture designer, woodworker, and business owner. Thomas Stender Design (furniture design and custom furniture business), founder and owner.

WRITINGS:

(With Cindy Burda) Weekend Woodworking for the Garden, Sterling Publishing Company (New York, NY), 2000.

Making Contemporary Wooden Tables: Eighteen Elegant Projects from Designer-Craftsmen, Lark Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Architectural Birdhouses: Fifteen Famous Buildings to Make for Your Feathered Friends, Lark Books (New York, NY), 2001.

(With Daniel Mack) Rustic Garden Furniture & Accessories: Making Chairs, Planters, Birdhouses, Gates & More, Lark Books (New York, NY), 2004.

SIDELIGHTS: Furniture designer Thomas Stender is an author and self-taught woodworking expert who specializes in one-of-a-kind artistic furniture and birdhouses. In addition to his own works, he has designed furniture for numerous manufacturers. His creations have been shown in numerous shows throughout the country. "Furniture should please on as many levels as possible," he remarked on his Internet home page. He maintained that it should be functional; it should feel good to the touch; it should be beautiful. "But why not make it also witty, unexpected, gestural, even sexy?" he asked. Finding inspiration in human and animal forms, movement, and clothing, Stender practices his craft in his studio in Buffalo, New York.

As an author, Stender has produced a number of books on woodworking and design. Rustic Garden Furniture & Accessories: Making Chairs, Planters, Birdhouses, Gates & More, for example, offers readers detailed plans and lists of material for making functional outdoor furniture from twigs, logs, bits of wood, and other material commonly ignored or discarded. The book includes thirty plans for projects ranging from woven plant surrounds to large furniture of greater complexity. Stender also includes material on the history of furniture styles covered in the book, plus specialized suggestions for working with unusual materials and on practical finishing materials and techniques. Library Journal reviewer Jonathan Hershey remarked favorably on the book's "appealing projects."

In Architectural Birdhouses: Fifteen Famous Buildings to Make for Your Feathered Friends Stender presents plans for a selection of unique birdhouses that replicate famous buildings and architectural styles. Included are detailed plans for making birdhouses in the form of a Japanese pagoda, the Chrysler building, a Gothic cathedral, and more. Hershey, in another Library Journal review, observed that "these designs are within the abilities of most woodworkers."

Making Contemporary Wooden Tables: Eighteen Elegant Projects from Designer-Craftsmen, includes detailed, conversational instruction from Stender, as well as solid advice from five other woodworking experts. In addition to clearly presented table designs, Stender also includes lists of needed materials and supplies, cutting lists, and thorough written and photographic instructions. He applies a "unique, personalized" approach to instructing his readers, noted Barbara Jacobs in Booklist, and in doing so "proves himself a bona fide coach for the amateur woodworker."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, October 1, 2000, Barbara Jacobs, review of Making Contemporary Wooden Tables: Eighteen Elegant Projects from Designer-Craftsmen, p. 309.

Library Journal, September 1, 2001, Jonathan Hershey, review of Architectural Birdhouses: Fifteen Famous Buildings to Make for Your Feathered Friends, p. 229; September 1, 2004, Jonathan Hershey, review of Rustic Garden Furniture & Accessories: Making Chairs, Planters, Birdhouses, Gates & More, p. 178.

ONLINE

Thomas Stender Design Web site, http://www.stenderdesign.com (June 19, 2005).