One Month and Crapping – I Mean ‘Counting’

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Fantastic news for those of you attending our book-release party for “The Anarchist’s Design Book” on March 12. Copperplate artist Briony Morrow-Cribbs is flying in from Vermont for the event and will be there to sign books and some original plates – we’ll have two sets there to sell.

More details on the plates soon.

We’ll also have T-shirts, free stickers, pizza and beer.

Work on the storefront has stalled this week because I’m finishing up a tool chest for a customer. But we are making progress at Willard Street. The drywall guys hung the wallboard on the new wall, restoring the front room’s original shape.

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And Mike Sadoff, my right-hand worker bee these days, has begun the joyous process of priming over the purple paint.

After staring at the back room for a long while today, I think I know what to do with the brick archway to restore that area’s Second Empire/Victorian feel. More details when my head catches up with my gut.

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. If you aren’t able to attend the book-release party, we hope to have Briony visit the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event for a short time at Braxton Brewing. So look for her there (she’s the one without a beard who is not named Megan).

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Posted in Lost Art Press Storefront, Uncategorized | 14 Comments

Eat, Dine and Play in Our Fair City

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If you are considering coming to Covington, Ky., for the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event, or to visit our storefront or attend a book-release party at our store at 837 Willard St., here is a quick brain dump on the geography, the food and the amenities.

Our storefront is one block off of Main Street in Covington, and it’s a 10-minute walk from the Ohio River and the bridges directly to Cincinnati, Ohio. As a result, you can easily walk from the riverfront and downtown hotels to our store.

If you don’t want to walk (or the weather sucks), consider taking the Southbank Shuttle (it’s all of $1 to ride), which can take you from downtown Cincinnati to Covington and Newport, our next-door neighbor. Details on the Southbank Shuttle are here. There also is bus service throughout all three cities that is run by TANK.

Where to Stay
Until they finish construction on the Covington Hotel near our store, the options are to stay at one of the nice and fairly inexpensive chain hotels on the Covington riverfront, book a room through AirBnB, or stay in downtown Cincinnati.

The hotels on the Covington riverfront include: Hampton Inn, Courtyard, Extended Stay, Marriott, Embassy Suites and Holiday Inn. All are clean, safe and offer decent amenities within walking distance.

If you opt to stay in Cincinnati, I highly recommend the 21c Hotel (no, we don’t get kickbacks). It is a full-service hotel. Amazing restaurant (the Metropole). Fantastic breakfast. Great bar and bartenders. And there’s a semi-secret rooftop bar (the entrance is in the alley). Plus you are steps away from the Contemporary Art Center, my three favorite restaurants downtown and Fountain Square. They also feature challenging modern art in the lobby and are exceedingly nice people.

Entertain Your Family
One of the things we love about raising our kids here is the city is very family friendly. The downtown area (Cincinnati, Covington and Newport) feature enough to keep kids busy for days. Really. Days.

The Newport Aquarium is a short walk from downtown. The Fire Museum is awesome if you have kids who like fire trucks. If your kids are a little older (8 to 10), try the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC). Start at the top floor where they have a wild area for kids to create art. We’ve spent days there. Plus the contemporary art throughout is top shelf. And the Zaha Hadid-designed building is fantastic to explore.

If it’s nice outside, go down to the riverfront on the Cincinnati side to the Smale Riverfront Park to blow off steam and ride the merry-go-round. Plus there are a ton of places to eat there at The Banks. (Morelein Lager House there is great for kids and adults.)

The ace in the hole for entertaining the kiddos is the Cincinnati Museum Center. You can spend two or three days solid here without boring the kids (or yourself). The Children’s Museum is there, plus the History Museum, an IMAX theater, the Natural History Museum, an ice cream parlor and all the old train station stuff that kids love. We lived there every weekend when our kids were young.

If your kids like art, head up to Mt. Adams (one of the hills 5 minutes from downtown) for the Cincinnati Art Museum. They have kids programs, including a dedicated space for kids to run wild, art style. Check it out here. And the museum features free admission.

All the above places can be visited easily with public transportation.

Where to Eat
Oh this is difficult. I live to eat. This list could go one for a long time and only scratch the surface. For this entry, I’ll stick to places in Covington only and avoid the chains.

Frida 602, great tacos and margaritas.
Cock and Bull, totally solid pub, great fish and chips and insane draft beer.
Goodfellas, totally solid New York pie. Go upstairs for amazing bourbon.
Keystone, great brunch; fantastic mac and cheese.
Riverside Korean, just fantastic. Never fails.
Kung Food (aka Amerasia), cheap, tasty and one of the best beer lists in the city.
Bouquet, fancy but really good. If you love wine, go here.
NuVo. This is a place to get your mind blown. One of the three best meals I’ve had in this city was here. If you are food-obsessed, it’s a must.
Left Bank Coffeehouse, best coffee in Covington. Great place to vegetate.
Anchor Grill, bring cash. The goetta is made across the street at Glier’s. The best place to nurse a hangover and is just one block from our store (coincidence?).

If you are going to eat across the river, things get even more nuts. Stay tuned.

— Christopher Schwarz

Posted in Lost Art Press Storefront, Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Those Funny Chairs

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Woodworker/teacher/bench builder/beekeeper Will Myers recently sent me some photos of two vernacular stick chairs he spotted during a trip to Tryon Palace in New Bern, NC.

Both chairs are English and Will reports they were brought to Tryon Palace in late 1940s when the palace was re-furnished.

The three-legged brown one has some interesting details. The legs look like they were originally faceted and then perhaps worn down, sanded down or somethinged-down to create of a roundish profile. I’ve been sketching some chairs where the arms are captured by the back spindles. It’s somewhat of an awkward look to my eye, and I haven’t yet produced a sketch that I want to build.

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I quite like the green chair, though the seat looks a little thin to my eye. The armbow reminds me of several Danish Modern chairs that I like. I plan to steal this armbow design for a future chair. It makes the chair look very inviting.

— Christopher Schwarz

Posted in The Anarchist's Design Book, Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Woodworking and Nightmares

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Last night I had my first nightmare about writing. I was given 30 minutes to write a poem about the churches of my hometown in Fort Smith, Ark. It was to be published on the front page of the newspaper, and I was writing it on a manual typewriter where the keys had weird symbols on them instead of QWERTY.

I wrenched awake at 4 a.m. while trying to rhyme something with “Garrison Avenue.”

The experience made me remember a conversation I had last year with some woodworking friends. Even though I’ve been woodworking every day for almost 20 years with plenty of stressful moments, I’ve never had a woodworking nightmare that I can recall.

You would think that woodworking would be perfect for the “nothing goes right in a process” dream. Boards are too short. Joints are too gappy. Finish won’t cure. But I’ve never had anything like that.

Are there typical woodworking nightmares? You know, like the near-universal one where you take an exam for a class you never attended? Or you’re falling, being chased or caught enjoying a Justin Bieber concert?

— Christopher Schwarz

Posted in Uncategorized | 31 Comments

Countdown to a Great Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event

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There are just 32 days until the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event at Braxton Brewing Co. in Covington, Ky., and it promises to be one of the more interesting ones I’ve ever attended.

For starters, look who is going to be there on March 11-12, in addition to the always-strong Lie-Nielsen staff:

Konrad Sauer of Sauer & Steiner Toolworks.
Scott Meek of Scott Meek Woodworks.
Raney Nelson of Daed Toolworks.
Caleb James of Caleb James, Planemaker.
Steve Voigt of Voigt Planes.
Mateo Panzica of The Lazarus Handplane Co.
Aaron Moore of Walke Moore Tools.
George Walker of “Design Matters” and “By Hound & Eye.”
Megan Fitzpatrick of Popular Woodworking Magazine.
Plus, John and me from Lost Art Press.

Could it get any wilder? Yes, it could.

I’ve just received confirmation that David Savage, one of the United Kingdom’s leading designers and makers, is flying in for the show and our book release party at our new storefront. This is David’s first trip to Cincinnati, I believe, and so we plan to destroy his good health with lots of bourbon and succulent swine.

Oh, the beer at Braxton is incredibly good, and the brewery is stumbling distance from the Lost Art Press storefront (what a coincidence).

So if you are in the market for a plane or want to bend the ear of Mr. Savage or Mr. Walker on furniture design, don’t miss this show. It’s free.

This week I’ll start posting a list of where to stay and eat. Cincinnatians are passionate about good food, good alcohol and hospitality. And there are lots of places to send your family while you guzzle beer and play with some incredible tools.

— Christopher Schwarz

Posted in Personal Favorites, Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Coming Soon: A Documentary on the Plates for ‘The Anarchist’s Design Book’

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Vermont artist Briony Morrow-Cribbs produced the 12 beautiful copperplates for my new book, “The Anarchist’s Design Book,” and soon we will post a documentary on the intense hand-work process she used to produce the plates.

The short film is being made by my cousin Jessamyn West, also of Vermont, with still photos from my aunt Liz West. Aunt Muffet, as she is known to me, took the above photo of Briony with the plate for the six-board chest. You can check out her Flickr feed here.

You’ll be hearing more about the plate-making process in the coming weeks. And if you are coming to Covington next month for the book-release party and Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event at Braxton Brewing Co., you’ll be able to see all 12 plates first-hand and close up.

— Christopher Schwarz

Posted in Lost Art Press Storefront, The Anarchist's Design Book, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

How’s Your German?

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Thanks to everyone who replied. We received more than 25 offers of help. I’ll start sorting through them tonight.

— Christopher Schwarz

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments