Your Best Work

Dividers1-1

“A roughly made bench serves the same purpose as an elegant Hepplewhite chair and has its own beauty. But how wonderful that the learned hands of humankind can fabricate something that has real craft and hard-won beauty.” 

— Robert Genn

There are many reasons to take up design, but the one that applies to every artisan at every level is quality. In our modern sense, design is often coupled with creating something unique or new. But for much of our history this wasn’t the case; quality was the hallmark of good design.

Woodworkers who craft reproductions seldom think of themselves in that modern design context. Yet one somehow recaptures the light and fire of an original masterpiece, while another builds a lifeless copy. Sort of like the difference between a masterful rendition of a great concert piece and the mechanical sound coming from a player piano. The difference is usually in the design knowledge brought to each workbench.

Regardless of whether you create original furniture designs, interpret masterful works from our tradition, or simply make small changes to make your furniture sing; design is the one ingredient that combines with our toolset and skillset to make a whole greater than the sum of it’s parts. Simply put, design is that final piece that enables you to do your best work.

— George R. Walker

Editor’s note: ‘By Hand & Eye” is now at the printer. We are continuing to work on the very complex cover I’ve devised, which is why we haven’t put the book up for sale in the store. Look for it early next week for $34 and free U.S. shipping.

About Chris Schwarz

Publisher of woodworking books and DVDs specializing in hand tool techniques.
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6 Responses to Your Best Work

  1. Mark Dorman says:

    . Thanks for the update. Take my money now please

  2. B Jackson says:

    Dude, what’s complex about a book cover? It’s the ideas and the content that are important. Think you need another person or two on your staff?

    S

    • lostartpress says:

      It’s a complex book cover that pushes the limits of the resolution of the debossing medium.

      One of the things we do here is try to push our printers to do work that is as high quality as books from the 19th century and early 20th century. For me, both the message and the medium are important.

      The inside pages of the book are done and moving through the production process, so this won’t delay the press date.

      Chris

      • rmcnabb says:

        Good job Chris – make these books exactly how you think they should be. Toolemera stuff is not what is needed here. I can’t wait for Walker’s book, though – design is the missing link. So much beautifully made homely furniture out there…design is the foundation. You’ll do far better with nails and glue and good design than if you’re visually tone deaf and can make perfect hidden sliding whiz bang dovetail with ebony wedges or whatever.

  3. Charlie Simpson says:

    Check out the design of this cool chair I got from china. Posted a pic on my twitter @cqsimpson2. Looking forward to new book. Thanks.

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