Friday, May 29, 2009

Sam Maloof

It was a very sad day last week when I got a phone call from Kevin Lerma telling me that Sam Maloof had died the night before.

Sam well deserved his position as one of the most influential and well known woodworkers in the world. But as much as Sam was a master woodworker, he was an even greater human being.

My Meeting with Sam

In February of 2007 I was teaching a class at William Ng’s in Anaheim. One of my students (Jim) was a docent at Sam Maloof’s. Since I was not available during the day to tour Sam’s house (museum) Jim arranged for myself and two others to have a special after-hour’s tour. I was told there were no guarantees of meeting Sam. After arriving, Jim proceeded to give us the tour,but few minutes later, Sam came walking in, and upon seeing us took over as tour guide.
This was incredible - not only did we get to meet Sam but he was taking the time to personally give us the tour! I could not believe our good luck - I was blown-away!
At one point Sam pulled the velvet rope aside and said “let’s set down for a moment”!

Afterwards Sam invited us down to his house (where he actually lived). We visited for another hour or so while setting on Sam’s furniture.
Sam had no idea who we were – but made time for us nonetheless. Sam was very humble and easy to talk to - as if he were just a regular guy. He was unaffected by his fame. I have heard many stories similar to mine – Sam was always willing to give of himself. He was an extraordinary human being!
I bought Sam’s book and had him sign it. He wrote “To Darrell Peart – Blessings/Peace – Sam Maloof - February 2007”.

Blessings and Peace upon you Sam – you will greatly missed.


  1. I met Sam Maloof at the Bellevue (WA) Art Museum where he gave a talk. I was mesmerized by the man. When I asked him to sign the book, "The Furniture of Sam Maloof," I said "If it isn't too cheeky of me to ask, could you please draw a stick figure of a rocking chair, as it is probably the closest I'll ever come to one of yours." He graciously drew a rocker and signed "To Bob and Joan --Peace Sam Maloof 2006." We chatted for several minutes about his Porsches. "I have two: I drive too fast." I was thinking about Sam a few days before I learned of his death. I was thinking how gracious and accomodating he was, and how he really seemed peaceful. Regardless of his occupation, Sam Maloof is an example that if we all followed, the world would be a better, more peaceful place.

  2. I certainly enjoyed the way you explore your experience and knowledge of the subject! Keep up on it.So I am looking forward to reading more of your articles in the future.