This is really interesting for me. We have a lot of Chinese and Asian
furniture that we got over the years from HK, China, Thailand and Burma.
One of our best pieces is an altar table that is of an antique design and is
made of yellow rosewood (Huanghuali), which was thought at the time to be
extinct. The wood for the table was recovered from old house beams in
Hainan Island. I've always marvelled at the skill it took for the intricate
and ornate designs but your pictures have given me a new appreciation for
the construction methods as well.
We've completed one of our life-goals, of visiting every province in China.
We found that in almost any small-medium-sized town in China you could find
skilled woodworkers that would turn out beautiful pieces with only the most
rudimentary of shops. Similarly, in Thailand we appreciated the potters who
created works of art using a potter's wheel that was set into a hole in the
ground and which was turned by foot-power (directly, not using a treadle).
I'm strictly an amateur and untrained woodworker, but you've given me some
new insight and ideas. However, I'll never have the time, skill, knowledge
or patience to turn out work such as in your photos. Regards --
So you have some really nice pieces made with really nice wood.
That's the irony of their work - all that effort and all that skill -
by intent - no one will ever see it - if they do it right. There's a
by a German about Chinese furniture - you might want to get - it's
under $30 by Ecke - amazon probably has it, Barnes & Noble may have
it on their shelves. The author gives you a lot of background on
the styles of various dynasties and the evolution of standard
Hell, there are people born and raised in the United States who've
been to half the States or less - and we've got freeways and air
everywhere. Must've been a real adventure traveling all over China
But if you gave them a picture or a set of plans for an Arts & Craft
they might have a tough time making it. They tend towards the
Menu approach when it comes to design - pick a table from column A
and chairs from column B - but don't ask for anything not on the
That's because the tables in Column A and the chairs in column B have
been made exactly the same - for the last couple of hundred years.
Support for the truth - it ain't the tools that make the beautiful
it's the person using them.
Maybe not, but you can probably make some of their joints and do
not found in any of the magazines.
I do have the Ecke book -- bought it at Woodcraft -- plus another useful
book that I bought in China -- either Kunming or Chongqing -- on furniture
building and joinery. Of course, the latter is in Chinese, but the drawings
and photos are useful, and I can read enough Chinese to use it, along with
help from a Chinese - English dictionary for specialty terms. Regards --
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