I'm looking for some bedside reading material, but I'm not interested
in technique or how-to books of which I have plenty (I can only read
how to hand cut dovetails so many times). I recently read George
Nakashima's "Soul of a Tree" (see my other post about the upcoming
Nakashima show in LA). Before that I enjoyed Ross Laird's "Grain of
Truth: the Ancient Lessons of Craft" and David Pye's "The Nature and
Art of Workmanship". I guess I enjoy the more "philosophical" type of
writing about woodworking, craftsmanship, and design.
Do you have any favorites along the "philosophical" line? What would
you recommend (or NOT recommend)?
On 8 Aug 2004 14:27:03 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (Ian Dodd) wrote:
"Reverence For Wood", Eric Sloane.
"Classic Wood Finishing", George Frank.
"The Foxfire Series".
"Japanese Woodworking Tools:...", Toshio Odate.
All of James Krenov's books.
Search terms: "Martin Heidegger" "Tools". "That with which our
everyday dealings proximally dwell is not the tools themselves. On the
contrary, that with which we concern ourselves is primarily the work."
Thomas J.Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.)
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
As a follow up to my own query, I came across an article by the editor
of Woodwork magazine on the last page of the current issue. It is a
"summer reading list" for woodworkers and includes books about Sam
Maloof, George Nakashima and catalogues from several recent museum
shows from around the country. Looks like some interesting stuff.
BTW, I came across Woodwork a while back and think it's about the best
magazine out there, even better than the venerable FWW. For me, it's
a good combination of articles on technique, design and personalities
without any tool reviews (which, in most magazines, is just
advertising masquerading as editorial material).
And, no, I am not affiliated with the magazine. Just plugging a
Any of James Krenov's books, though his first book The Impractical
Cabinet Maker (IIRC) was the first woodworking book I read that
got into the "why" of woodworking rather than the "how" and "with
what". It is interesting that the terms used when someone really
gets into something are similar or identical. Musicians, physicists,
sculptors, mathematicians ... speak of elegance, balance, harmony,
After reading the first Krenov book my view of wood and woodworking
changed. Wood was no longer just a material and "work" went out
of "woodworking". That's when the "AH!" Zen moments became more
frequent and the "AH SH T!" moments became less frequent.
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