|Photo by Frank Jacobs of The Trenton Times: Stanley & Son Eric shown in our Pennington, NJ shop - January 2002
All of the works proceeded by commission, including furniture, carvings, sculpture, folk art, and other artistic pieces are personally signed and dated to insure clear identification and prove artistic history. Many of Stanley's early works are signed in black pen or lead pencil, sealed with shellac.
Pieces produced from 2001 forward received an engraved brass plaque noting their origin with Artisans of the Valley, and our signatures are hand burned into the framework to form a permanent mark
Many works are signed by Stanley and Eric as individuals, others are signed by the father/son artists as a joint piece.
Craftsman - A Definition
A master craftsman is one who has studied every aspect of his art for many years under an established master craftsman. In the art of reproducing period furniture, Stanley D. Saperstein is such a craftsman.
Mr. Saperstein has studied the arts of woodcarving, joining, designing, and finishing under master craftsman C. N. Grinnell, whose family have been master woodcarvers and cabinetmakers since 1614.
Stanley has learned the skills that have been passed down from generation to generation, his pedigree is documented in the form of Journeyman Papers.
Journeyman papers were often scribbled notes offering the assurances of a master craftsman that their apprentice had reached journeyman level. Mr. Grinnell took great joy in presenting this simple note to Stanley upon completion of his apprenticeship.
Stanley had to have something to frame, so he had Mr. Grinnell sign this parchment, written in calligraphy, authenticating his training.
Stanley spent the next twenty some odd years perfecting his craft and preparing his son Eric to take on the role of Master Craftsman in order to continue his legacy. The formal proclamation was extended in the form of a hand scribed illuminated parchment on January 2nd, 2008.
From this date forth, Eric has the right to carry the title of Master Craftsman.
Scroll Artwork by Rosemary Buczek
Photography by Henry Schweber
Artisans of the Valley
Hand Crafted Custom Woodworking & Museum Quality Antique Restoration
Be it known that I Stanley D. Saperstein master of the shop known as Artisans of the Valley hereby do transfer the name of my shop and my Title of Master to my son Eric M. Saperstein who has followed in my footsteps earning the title of Ars Artisan of Custom Furniture Making and all its branches.
I hereby certify that my son has fulfilled his obligations as my apprentice from the age of ten through the 2 day of the year 2000.
I hereby certify that my son has demonstrated to my satisfaction his abilities as a journeyman furniture maker by delivery of a series of master's pieces designed, joined, carved, and finished by his hands.
I hereby certify that my son has demonstrated to my satisfaction his abilities as a journeyman in furniture restoration by completion of a series of master's level restorations.
I hereby proclaim to have fulfilled my obligation as the fifth generation set forth by the tradition of my teacher Fourth Generation Master C.N. Grinnell and the masters before him to pass on our trade and heritage.
I now transfer this title to my son as the sixth generation of master woodworkers formally trained in the Grinnell family tradition.
Ergo I take the title of Master Emeritus and set my signature to this document on the 2 day of the year 2008.
Stanley D. Saperstein