Maine Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins are slated to help christen Thursday the latest showplace carved out by artisan furniture maker Tom Moser.
A one-time college professor turned full-time craftsman — “He was a professor of rhetoric, of all things, at Bates [College],” King told HOH — Moser has built a second career for himself by creating highly coveted conversation pieces for the home and office.
Collins and King are tentatively scheduled to attend the ribbon cutting at his new shop (1028 33rd St. NW) Thursday from 6:30-9 p.m. The invitation-only affair is expected to feature “Made in America” tasting stations, specialty drinks and the opportunity to win a limited edition, hand-signed American flag cobbled together from different woods (Maine maple for the white stripes, Pennsylvania cherry for the red stripes and Missouri black walnut for the background to the stars).
“It’s truly a work of art,” Collins, who has a similar hand-made flag (a loaner from Moser) hanging in her personal office in Dirksen, said of the sculpture-like, three dimensional piece.
Collins said she’s known Moser for years (“He’s an extraordinary designer,” she assured us.) and counts him as a close friend. According to Collins, the generous soul has hosted two receptions for her at which supporters were provided a behind-the-scenes peek at what goes on in the workshop, and also gifted her an autographed wooden clock in 2012 to commemorate her wedding .
King, who said he’s known Moser for approaching four decades, praised the former academic for fashioning such an incredible legacy.
“They’re sort of the L.L. Bean of furniture,” King said, touting Moser’s commitment to customer service and the individualized attention paid to each piece (King owns a Moser-made chair and dining room table) as the keys to his enduring success. “That’s part of the Maine tradition.”
Per King, coming to D.C, is a win-win for everyone. “I think it’s a good market for them,” he calculated, adding, “Every chair they sell down here is another job for someone in Maine.”
Not super tight with the Pine Tree Staters?
You might try getting on Moser’s good side by contributing to the raffle (tickets are $100 per entry) organized by Radnor Memorial Library in Wayne, Pa. The drawing is scheduled to be held on April 10, and Moser has offered up a handful of items — including another one of those fancy American flags (estimated value: $5,000) — to the cause.
The truly hardcore might consider applying to the “Customer in Residence ” program, a week-long immersion experience (estimated value: $6,300-$14,000) for those who want to make a piece of Moser history with their own hands.
The Georgetown shop will host a public grand opening Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Moser is expected to sign commemorative catalogs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and master craftsman Warren Shaw has been tasked with demonstrating the step-by-step evolution of a Continuous Arm Chair.
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