Always Good Intentions


English Art Deco "Shop Class" Book Rack (LEO Design)

I remember Eighth Grade Shop Class quite well.  It was at Kapaa Intermediate School, on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, and we would rotate through the various "disciplines" quarterly: woodworking, metal craft, technical drawing and gardening.  If Mother's Day or Father's Day happened to coincide (even approximately) with the woodworking or metal craft interval, you could be certain that a "love-crafted gift" would be going home to the parent in question.  Now, 47 years later, I can still clock a shop class creation from across the flea market.  The piece always has good intention; it's the level of finesse which varies.  And I always spare a thought for the (poor?) parent who was required to "oooh and ahhh" at the unveiling.  In many cases, the object is actually well-made—with any "bobbles" only adding to the piece's charm.

Shown above, an English Art Deco book rack.  It was meant to stand on a desk (or credenza), holding a small collection of books close-at-hand.  It might be employed in an office or den, holding reference books.  Or in a kitchen holding cookbooks.  It is stylish—certainly capturing the Art Deco modernism of its day.  And it was likely made as a Mother's or Father's Day gift by a student in the Thirties.  Click on the photo above to learn more about it.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (

We also can be found in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248