With You in a Moment

Copied Thomas Loeser, With You in a Moment, 2016, honey locust, ash, shovel and lawn mower handles, 120 × 35 × 21 in. (304.8 × 88.9 × 53.3 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist, 2021.58

Artwork Details

With You in a Moment
120 × 35 × 21 in. (304.8 × 88.9 × 53.3 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of the artist
Mediums Description
honey locust, ash, shovel and lawn mower handles
  • Object — furniture
Object Number

Artwork Description

“If the furniture we sit on every day were totally different, would our lives be different, too?” wonders furniture maker Tom Loeser.

The natural edge of this honey locust timber slab pays homage to George Nakashima’s iconic Conoid bench, a design introduced in 1960. When Loeser was young, he sat on a Conoid bench at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and in that moment realized the power of furniture.

A row of discarded shovel handles forms the back of Loeser’s bench. Every spring in Madison, Wisconsin—where the artist lives—people throw out their broken shovels, a sign as sure as spring blossoms that another harsh winter has passed. Loeser collected the discarded tools and repurposed them. While shoveling snow can cause back pain, these shovel handles now lend their support.


Quilt featuring the portrait of a woman
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World
May 13, 2022April 2, 2023
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World showcases the dynamic landscape of American craft today.