Sheraton – English formal. High class Mahogany furniture in a classical design.
Sheraton Brand furniture harks back to the traditional furniture making of generations past, and in combination with more modern techniques and sensibilities the result is time honoured designs crafted with excellence in quality. The owner and creator of Sheraton is a Canadian named Jeff, and he has a lifetimes experience in antiques, antique trading and reproduction antique manufacture and finishing.
As a teenager in Canada Jeff stared working in the furniture industry with an antique retailer. Working there as a re-finisher he began his experiences with English influenced Canadian country furniture, and by the age of 20 he was out on his own as an antique dealer. Specializing in American and English formal furniture in the styles of some of the most famous furniture makers of the genre such as Chippendale, Hepplewhite and Phyfe.
Thomas Chippendale lived in England during the 1700s and he became a cabinet maker in London, designing furniture in the mid-Georgian, English Rococco, and Neoclassical styles. In 1754 he was the first cabinet maker to publish a book of his designs titled The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker's Director, the success of which made him famous. The designs are regarded as reflecting the current British fashion for furniture of that period and are still popular and reproduced today. Chippendale was much more than just a cabinet maker, he was an interior designer who advised on other aspects of decor such as soft furnishings and even the colour a room should be painted.
George Hepplewhite was also a cabinetmaker that lived in England during the 1700’s. He gave his name to a distinctive style of light, elegant furniture that was fashionable between about 1775 and 1800 and reproductions of his designs continued through the following centuries. Hepplewhite’s famed style is easily identifiable. Hepplewhite produced designs that were slender, more curvilinear in shape and well balanced. There are some characteristics that hint at a Hepplewhite design, such as shorter more curved chair arms, straight legs, shield-shape chair backs, all without carving. The design would receive ornamentation from paint and inlays used on the piece.
Duncan Phyfe was born in Scotland, and after emigrating to the USA became one of the nineteenth centuries leading American cabinetmakers. Although he did not create any new furniture style, he interpreted fashionable European trends in a manner so distinguished and particular that he became a major spokesman for Neoclassicism in the United States, influencing a whole generation of American cabinetmakers. Throughout the first half of the nineteenth century he made Neoclassical furniture for the social and mercantile elite of New York, Philadelphia, and the American South where he was particularly popular. His personal style, characterized by superior proportions, balance, symmetry, and restraint, became the New York local style. Many apprentices and journeymen exposed to this distinctive style by serving a stint in the Phyfe shop or by copying the master cabinetmaker's designs helped to create and sustain this local school of cabinetmaking.
When Jeff turned 30 he moved to the far east and began a new chapter in his life and career. He worked in Central Java for a major player in the international furniture scene as head of quality control and product development. So started the addition of the broad local knowledge that Jeff would need in the following years in his own business. Jeff worked for the company for a decade honing that local knowledge and adding to his antiques skillset.
By 40 Jeff had set up the Sheraton Brand in Central Java giving him the opportunity to apply all he had learnt for his own benefit, for the benefit of his clients and now for the benefit of shoppers at W Home. The basis of the Sheraton Brand exists in the knowledge of which pieces to choose from antique history and refine those designs for modern tastes. This is coupled with the original local team that Jeff assembled when he started, the key members of which are still with him today.
It is not easy to produce world class reproduction antiques and the process starts with carefully selected designs and carefully selected mahogany logs. After kiln drying, the wood is carefully selected and handed over to the trained team for traditional construction. Jeff’s experience in antiques in the modern market is applied here to refine the designs to be more in line with today’s tastes and sizes, while keeping the heart and soul of the original designs that they are based on. The careful selection of the carvings, and their execution by extremely skilled local craftsmen, showcases the talent exhibited by the Sheraton Brand team.
The delight of seeing wood carved well is shared by all who know beauty and respect it. The Sheraton Brand continues the traditions of 18th and 19th century carving craftsmen and they live on within every piece of furniture sold under the brand. Building value, modern function and longevity into a design requires uncommon vision and patience. Whether a simple fluted column or an elaborate cabriole leg, each carver knows that the Sheraton Brands reputation is at stake in the successful articulation of the carving. It is this commitment to treating furniture-making as an art that distinguishes the brand from others.
Veneers and veneering techniques feature heavily in the original antiques and those traditions are carried on here. Highly exotic veneers are sourced from the world over, and come from countries as diverse as the colours and patterns. The brands most used veneer is Khaya swirl Mahogany veneer and it comes from Cameroon in Africa. Zebrano veneer also comes from Africa. Mappa burl veneer is cut from European Poplar from Poland, and Santos Rosewood veneer comes from Brazil. Other veneers come from the United States, Sri Lanka and Ghana. Techniques in marquetry and parquetry are used to apply simple or intricate decorations to the furniture, and intense care and attention to detail are required for the result to be up to the level of quality that the brand is known for. The results speak for themselves and it is easy to see beauty contained within each piece of veneered furniture.
The fantastic high gloss finishing that Sheraton is known for is no easy process. Preparation is key, and after diligent quality control, each piece is lovingly hand sanded to perfection before any finishing starts. The finishing itself starts with colour padding, and this is a benchmark characteristic of the Sheraton Brand finishing system and consumes over one-fourth of the total finish time on any given piece. This process not only achieves consistency of colour but also enhances the grain pattern in the wood. Each piece is evaluated for overall colour and uniformity and then hand-padded with a coloured stain to obtain the desired effect. Jeff has established parameters of acceptability for colour in order to maintain uniformity from piece to piece, however, the individual personality and artistic perceptions of the craftsman will be evident in his or her work. Upon completion of this step, the craftsman will then use independent judgment in hand applying additional finishing material to further add contrast, depth and character to each piece. This colour padding procedure is essential to the brands reputation for producing one of the finest finishes in the industry. Top quality lacquers are then applied, and the layers are built up, rubbed out and polished. The resulting mirror like sheen is the characteristic trademark of Sheraton furniture and instantly recognizable, setting the furniture apart from other brands.
The solid brass hardware is the jewellery of the furniture and antique fittings made by the metalworkers of yesteryear serve as patterns for each design, and the age-old techniques are still employed in the manufacture of our pulls and bails. The molten brass is poured into sand casts and allowed to cool and then trimmed and polished. This results in small imperfections of finish which add charm and authenticity to the hardware and to the furniture it enhances.
Dining tables are a specialty of the Sheraton Brand and are available in sizes ranging from 1-1.2 metres, up to extension tables with a massive size of 6-7 metres long. Many in between sizes are available, with the most popular sizes being around the 2.5-3 metre mark. Chairs to accompany the tables are available in many classic designs, and lounge chairs also. Cabinetry such as sideboards and buffets allow you to complete your dining settings, or for individual placement in other areas of your home. Many occasional pieces such as end tables and side tables complete the brands collection.
Traditional craftsman ship and solid leadership coupled with the still popular antique designs from history are the basis of the Sheraton Brand. The brands factory is fully certified and licenced including the Indonesian government’s own SVLK certification. A solid decade as a sole proprietor supplying clients all over the world and working on commercial projects such as resorts, hotels and private residences has given Jeff the management and manufacturing skills to ensure the longevity of the Sheraton Brand. The fantastic collection which is the Sheraton Brand is now available to the buyers of W Home. Follow this blog for all the latest updates and news from the brand.