Do you remember the old record player and stereo that belonged to your grandparents, or maybe great-grandparents if you're young enough? It was a piece of furniture. Four feet across, three feet tall, and 18-inches deep, it was made of wood, was well constructed, and it had those sort of tweedy-woven speaker grills that have taken decades for you to appreciate how cool they were.
Orchestra - Black Walnut
To use the record player or access the stereo controls, you had to lift up the lid, because the entire point of this piece of furniture was to hide its purpose. It was the ultimate expression in its day of form over function.
I know this is subjective, but furniture from this era was awesome. It's not that I want that style to come back, but it was just so cool. Maybe that's why Jeffery Stephenson's work resonates with me as strongly as it does—it allows me to imagine that world in a modern context without having to replace a couch with a record player.
Orchestra - Mahogany
A few weeks ago, I showed you a project Mr. Stephenson calls DuMont, an iPad mini stand that was constructed to look like an old TV. Recently, he unveiled a new project called Orchestra, a stand for a Jawbone Big Jambox Bluetooth speaker that looks like one of those old record players.
According to Mr. Stephenson, the style is technically Mid-Century Modern, and the specific inspiration for this stand was a 1961 Curtis Mathes stereo console. He said that the name "Orchestra" came from an episode of Mad Men, "when Pete Campbell says while describing his new stereo console, 'You would expect to open the doors and find a tiny orchestra in there.'"
Orchestra - Mahogany with Black Speaker Grills (and a can for scale)
In addition to the photographs (posted with permission), Mr. Stephenson also posted a couple of YouTube videos showing how the stand goes together with the Jawbone Big Jambox. Note the tight fit when he slides the speaker into Orchestra—that's craftsmanship.
Mr. Stephenson told me that most of his works aren't for sale. They're one-off projects that are usually commissioned.