Tom Moser, founder and designer of furniture company Thos. Moser, has been inducted into the New England Design Hall of Fame in the Specialty Design category.
"I never thought of myself as a designer, but rather as a builder working closely with form," Moser said. "The funny thing is that I learned my woodworking technology from people who preceded me by hundreds of years, doing restoration and repair work."
Moser was a college professor in the 60s, but spent the next 40 years following his impulse to build with his hands, which led to the creation of the Maine-based, all-American-made company.
"I never set out to create a business," he said. "I set out to recapture some of the values we lost 100 years earlier. My early designs were based on antecedent forms -- they were within the aesthetic forms. A couple years into it I realized if I were going to make a success, I couldn't just sell and celebrate other designers forever. The model I used for this was George Nakashima, Japanese furniture maker, who imposed the Japanese aesthetic on an 18th-century American form (Windsor chair). If he could bring the Windsor chair to Japan, I could bring the Windsor to the 20th century. That was the impetus of my design. It was time to build a brand, rather than sell a service, and that is how it all started."
The Hall of Fame specializes in residential design in New England, largely honoring architects, interior designers and landscape architects with notable careers.