1 of 10 images

William Keyser Walnut and Leather Pedestal Stools, 1969


William Keyser's walnut and leather pedestal stools were commissioned by the Women's Council of Rochester Institute of Technology in 1966. The Women's Council of RIT had been formed under the direction of Aileen Osborn Webb. They chose three professors from the School for American Craftsmen faculty to create furnishings for the new inter-faith chapel, part of the plans for the new RIT campus. The council threw a series of local benefit parties to raise money for the commission. On March 7th, 1970 a dedication ceremony with the furnishings from William Keyser, Donald Bujnowski and Hans Christensen took place to transform the Ingle Auditorium into a place of worship each weekend. Three stools have been recently re-acquired from RIT and professionally restored by the artist. The fourth stool that was made is a part of RIT's permanent "Art on Campus" collection. The stools are being offered as a set of three but can be purchased separately for $6500 each. Each stool is initialed and dated - WK '69. Keyser wrote this about the stools, "The stools with conical bases were designed to be compatible with the altar and other sanctuary furniture in the chapel. Since there were to be four stools, I wanted a simple form so as not to clutter the space. The construction of the stools started by making a half-conical male mold over which a half- cone of molded plywood would be formed. Three (3) layers of 1/8” thick Italian poplar bending plywood were cut to a pattern to fit over the mold. The layers were spread with glue, locater on the mold, and put into a clear plastic bag, sealed, and attached to a vacuum pump which evacuated the air from inside the bag, pulling the 3 sheets of plywood tightly against the mold and holding there until the glue dried. When removed from the bag, the three sheets retained their half-cone shape. Next the walnut veneer was cut to triangular shapes, taped together so the final shape fit exactly the half cone. Glue was spread onto the outside of the plywood half-cone, slipped over the mold, the walnut veneer put in place over the plywood, and the whole assembly put back into the vacuum bag and evacuated. When the glue dried, the walnut veneered half-cone was removed. This was repeated two times for each stool. Since the half-cones were formed slightly over sized, they were then trimmed to final size to fit together to make a complete cone. Groves (1/8” wide) were sawn into the vertical edges of the half-cones, fitted with splines of 1/8” plywood and the two half cones glued together. A wooden “plug” was fitted and glued into the top of the cone, drilled to receive four bolts which secured the seat. A ¾” thick rim was shaped to fit and glued inside the lower edge of the cone to receive six plastic carpet glides. The seat consisted of two nesting layers which were similarly vacuum formed from three sheets each of bending plywood. Holes which matched those in the base were drilled through both seat layers. Threaded “Tee-Nuts” were fixed into the holes of the upper seat layer. Both layers were then upholstered with leather including a welt cord fixed around the perimeter between the layers. Four bolts then sandwiched the base and the two-layered seat together." Brief Bio/Resume of William Keyser: Professional Career Professor Emeritus, School for American Crafts, Rochester Institute of Technology, (taught 1962 – 1997; Chairman of Crafts 1981 – 1989) Created over 100 commissioned artworks for private or corporate clients, including over 20 public art sculptures Executed over 160 ecclesiastical objects, including 23 complete sanctuary ensembles Work reported in over 325 newspaper and magazine articles and featured in over 30 published books Represented in the collections of over a dozen museums, universities and corporations including the Museum of Art and Design, ArtPark, Burchfield Penny Art Center, Carnegie Mellon University, Eastman Kodak, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester Institute of Technology, Sheldon Museum of Fine Art, State University of New York, University of Rochester Over 100 exhibitions; juried, invitational, solo; over a dozen awards Recognition Award of Distinction, The Furniture Society, 2003 Merit Award, Carnegie Mellon University, 1998 College of Fellows, American Craft Council, 1997 Grand Prize, Modern Liturgy Visual Arts Awards Competition, 1986 Distinguished Alumnus, Rochester Institute of Technology, 1978 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, 1975 Ailborn Foundation Grant, 1969 Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild Second National Award, 1952 Education MFA, Painting and Sculpture, Rochester Institute of Technology, 2006 MFA, Furniture Design, Rochester Institute of Technology, 1961 BS, Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, 1958


  • Creator
    William Keyser (Maker)
  • In the Style Of
  • Place of origin
  • Date of manufacture
  • Dimensions

    H 13 in. x W 15 in. x D 15 in.

    H 33.02 cm x W 38.1 cm x D 38.1 cm

  • Seat height
    13 in. (33.02 cm)
  • Seller location
    New York, NY
  • Seller reference number
    Highland Park Item #WK001
  • Item location

    1stdibs Gallery at 200 LEX

    200 Lexington Avenue

    New York, NY 10016

  • Sold As
    Set of 3
  • Reference number

Shipping, Returns & Payment

  • Online Payment Methods
    1stdibs accepts the following payment methods
  • Item Invoice
    Generate an invoice that you can customize and print.

About the Seller

Top Seller
1stdibs seller since 2009
Typical response time: <1 hr
Located in New York, NY
20th Century Specialists
You may also contact the seller by phoneCall seller through 1stdibs

Why Shop on 1stdibs?

Learn More

Only Vetted, Professional Sellers

Buyer Protection Guaranteed

Fully Insured Global Deliveries

More From This Seller

David N. Ebner Bamboo Stool #1, 2006

David N. Ebner

American Stools


Contemporary American artist David N. Ebner's "Bamboo Stool #1" is made of solid bamboo over a luan plywood core. Coated with a water- and heat-resistant 40% sheen lacquer. It's sign...


David N. Ebner Anigre Renwick Stool, 2017

David N. Ebner

American Stools


Contemporary American artist David N. Ebner's "Renwick Stool" is an anigre wood bench with finger joints and carved seat. It's signed on the bottom with the artist's initials, date m...


Carter Hopkins Khafra Bench, Sapele Wood and Le...

Carter Hopkins

American Benches


Contemporary American furniture maker Carter Hopkins' Khafra Bench was made in 2015. This handcrafted sapele wood bench was designed and made with form and function in mind. The seat...


George Nelson Ebonized Platform Bench by Herman...

Herman Miller, George Nelson

American Benches


George Nelson platform bench (No. 4692) was made by the Herman Miller Furniture Company Inc. circa 1950s. It was designed primarily for high and low storage cases. But it was also us...

You May Also Like
NaN / item

Amuneal’s Blackened Steel and Leather Wrapped D...

Amuneal, Amuneal

American Stools

Steel, Leather

Amuneal’s blackened steel and leather stools are fabricated from precision machined and laser-cut steel components. The laser-cut and formed seat is hand clad in leather and suspende...

NaN / set

Pair of Compact Cognac Leather and Brass Greek ...

American Stools

Brass, Leather

These modern stools are absolutely elegant. They each have a cognac colored leather top with a Greek key designed, X-base, polished brass frame. A perfect set for a richly designed h...

NaN / item

Crest Stool by Tretiak Works, Contemporary Hand...

Nick Tretiak

American Stools


A fun and versatile stool fit for any space. The mixture of soft edges and firm lines create a comfortable seat and an intersection of shapes. With it’s flat top this piece works wel...


Stool Butaque Miguelito, Mahogany and Leather

William Spratling, Clara Porset, Luis Barragan

Mexican Stools

Iron, Leather, Mahogany

For your consideration a vintage stool "Miguelito" made in Mexico. Constructed with solid mahogany wood, saddle leather and iron hardware. The leather has vintage patina prese...

NaN / item

Contemporary Stool in Carved Maple, Brass and L...

Vincent Pocsik

American Stools

Brass, Wood, Maple, Walnut

Bone Stool001 from Series 001 by Vincent Pocsik. Carved maple stool with leather cushion top and brass accents. Shown here in a bone and natural vegetan leather top. Vincent Pocsik...

NaN / item

Backless Vanity-Sized Stool in Herringbone and ...

Five Finger Furnishings

American Stools

Upholstery, Wood

A petite stool that adds color, character (and a seat) under a window, at the end of a hall, or in the entryway. Dressed in a combination of a multi-color striped velveteen seat and ...


Finn Juhl for France and Son Black Leather and ...

Finn Juhl, France & Son

Danish Stools

Leather, Teak

An excellent example of an all original Danish Mid-Century Modern ottoman or footstool, designed by Finn Juhl, and dating from the mid-1960s. The teak frame, with original finish, ha...

NaN / item

Unusual Set of Three Oak and Fabric Parlor Fire...

Romweber Furniture Co.

American Benches

Fabric, Oak

Unusual set of three oak and fabric parlor / fireside stools /benches made by The Romweber Co. Feudal oak "Cowboy Modern". All three pieces retain their original finish as well as or...