I grew up in Ithaca and my dad, Peter Levatich, was an architect in the area. But even more personally and closer to his heart, he was a wood worker. When I was about 8 or 9, my parents bought a plot of forest land and my dad began managing his forest for veneer quality timber. In the careful thinning of the less desirable trees, he was able to save sections of Cherry and Ash and Walnut for woodworking which he learned through reading books on the craft. His pieces are unadorned and elegant, inspired by Danish and Shaker traditions. Many of his pieces – coffee tables, single hanging wall cabinets, benches – maintain the natural beauty of the tree it was sawn from, inspired by the furniture maker George Nakashima. I am certainly biased, but I think many would agree they are gorgeous. But I think most importantly, they are built with every aspect of their user carefully considered. I made a coffee table with him one summer and in its designing process we had conversations about the average height of a person’s knees, how the table’s height and breadth look in a room, and how the table must be smooth along the underside of the edges to make it most comfortable to move. These details were very important to him – the pieces all needed to be functional, elegant, unassuming and comfortable in the space. My dad made a bed frame for my husband and my wedding made from Ash with a Walnut head board. The thing must weigh half a ton and is as sturdy as the tree it was sawn from, yet it can all be taken apart into pieces that can be transported in a 1986 Honda hatchback! Form and Function and beauty.
I am telling you this story, because there are few crafts people I know who are able to so perfectly marry all these important elements – simplistic elegance and function something that feels so comfortable to your soul – and that came to mind to me last night when I was slipping on my Aurora Shoes to go to book club. I just wanted to take some time to express my gratitude to you and appreciation of your craft and thank you for making something that feels so much like home to my feet and my eyes.