Collectors of period hammered copper have likely come across examples from a company that marked its wares under various permutations of The Craftsman Studios (Craftsman Studios, Craftsmen Studios, Craftmen Inc). This company put out a wide variety of designs, including vases, bowls, desk sets, jewellery, and some cast pieces. Later on they diversified and were resellers of glass products, ceramics, lamps, paintings and prints, and leather goods.
Much of The Craftsman Studios copper work on the market is somewhat mundane, with little hammering or imagination and sometimes die-stamped. These pieces and are ‘usually’ additionally identified as made in Laguna Beach, CA. Mixed in with these ubiquitous pieces, however, are enough examples of finely worked copper to merit more than second attention by collectors. These pieces are in interesting forms, have nice hand-hammering and hand-chasing, use green, brass, and brown copper patinas, and sometimes colouring or enameling of chased sections. Some of these carry the Laguna Beach mark, but most are stamped with a CS mark, and still others remain unmarked. Overall, a wide variety of marks exist. A few designs appear identical to copper work by Fred Brosi and/or Old Mission Kopperkraft. Additionally, there is no published history or available catalogues (although two are in private hands). It is for these reasons that I have created this web site exploring the history and work of The Craftsman Studios.
When I first started collecting copper it was Craftsman Studios-Craftsmen Inc. (CS) that I gravitated towards. When you don’t know anything about metal collecting this stuff seems pretty good and it’s affordable! After a period of refinement my tastes changed to Roycroft, Stickley, OMS, and Benedict hammered copper. A nice benefit of collecting from these well-known makers is the vast amount of information available to the collector with published books, catalgoues, and magazine articles, in addition to online resources that are constantly updated. However, my admiration for CS work remained and my interests kept returning to CS. Who was the CS, and what is their story?
These pages offer some insight into the company and highlight some of the work, sublime to mundane… This site is only in the initial stages of development: please come back often and contact me if you have further information or see errors. Additionally, I do not have the source for all of my images. If you see one that is yours and you want me to take it down or credit, please do not hesitate to contact me, David Locky, at firstname.lastname@example.org