My old friend David Smith is an enigmatic character who divides his time between three islands: Bali, Java and Vashon Island near Seattle. His business is furniture, and he’s been collecting antiques in Java for 20 years. As the supply of antiques in the field dwindled, David shifted his focus to furniture making. He has a workshop in the historic town of Blitar in East Java with about 100 local workers crafting furniture for his retail showroom in Seattle and for contract clients.
During two decades of antique-hunting in Java, David has been setting aside his favourite finds for his own enjoyment and has amassed an astounding collection. The pieces he prefers are folk-art furniture from the Ponorogo area, and this is his collection’s strongest suit. He is currently preparing an enormous coffee table book on the collection, to be published in 2009. Art dealer and author Bruce Carpenter is working on the text now.
The Puget Sound Business Journal ran an article on David last month, with a nice portrait, in which he looks – – as ever – – enigmatic.
Photos Dan Schlatter