Linda Rosengarten of Hock Tools recently interviewed me about Lost Art Press, why I left Popular Woodworking Magazine and what book projects I am working on. You can read the full interview here and wonder if there is such a thing as Verbal Immodium that I should be taking. Or you can read the following excerpt.
Thanks to Linda and Ron Hock for giving us some digital ink. It’s a real honor. My first decent handplane had a Hock blade in it – a story that I hear repeated all the time.
Linda: So, what’s all this talk about campaign furniture and how is the full-blown campaign secretary by March 15 going? I read about it in your blog post, Today, I Made a Stick. Please tell me all about it.
Chris: I’m working on two books right now. One is on campaign furniture, a much-neglected style that I think many woodworkers would fall in love with. My grandparents had several pieces of it, and my grandfather built several reproductions of campaign pieces. So I’ve always been crazy for it. And it’s not just furniture of war. Campaign furniture was called “patent furniture” in the day and was part of the fabric of life in England and Europe. It was the furniture you would take camping or traveling.
The other book is tentatively called “Furniture of Necessity,” and it is stupid, insane and entirely ill-advised. I’ve been working on it for a couple years now and it seeks to change woodworkers’ taste in furniture. It’s hubris to even think I can do this, and I expect to fail spectacularly. But if I don’t try, then I definitely will fail. This book is, at its heart, the end game for the workbench book. Sorry to sound cryptic; that’s not my intent. It’s just too wild to even really discuss without writing a whole book, I guess.
10 thoughts on “Hock Tools Profiles Lost Art Press”
Thanks for sharing Chris. My feelings exactly on the fart jokes.
My only regret is that I did not start using hand tools long ago. What a fulfilling way to enjoy my craft, and to be able to get quality made tools from makers like Ron Hock, Lie-Nielson, Wenzloff and Son. The list goes on. My immense gratitude to you Chris, Thank You.
How do I say this nicely?…The FoN book is incredibly important. Don’t cut yourself short. If it is conceived, as you have previously described (or at least understood in my head), as an archetype meets historical survey ( the Egyptians did this, the Greeks, the Romans … the Bauhaus etc.). And executed with half the clarity and success of The ATC, then it should be an informative tome on furniture design. Not a how to so much as a where from (or where to).
I’m no big fan of ornament, but I’m not all Adolf Loos crazy and thinking its a crime either. The FoN book has a chance of providing, for me at least, an essential understanding of furniture design without all the extras that certain design eras globbed on like gold leafing a turd. Then I can decide for myself when a cove or round over can adorn the edge or a curve can define it. When I can inset a metal panel or cut out a decorative hand hold. And how all of that can add to the design and not just add on.
The rest of the interview was great. No pills required.
Good overall interview such that folks can identify with who you are as well as appreciate your advanced hand tool and writing skill levels. Linda asked good questions and you gave honest answers that resonate with many wood workers. I truly appreciate the time you allocate out of your busy schedule to send daily e-mails on the craft, I look forward to them. Thanks!
I read the interview from Ron’s blog this morning and enjoyed it very much. I have to say, in the picture above you look relaxed and, I guess the right word is, content. I would say what you are doing is good for you and it shows. In the pictures and the videos from a few years ago you always looked a little stressed and uptight. Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading both books. Thanks.
Great interview Chris, and go for it on the FoN book! Nice pic of you and your lovely wife, BTW. You look like a very lucky man, and I don’t mean just because she’s pretty. I’m celebrating my 30th with the love of my life next week and can testify first-hand that the love of a good woman is treasure beyond price. Who was the photographer, BTW? Was it Katy?
Chris certainly out-kicked his coverage. 🙂
Chris certainly out-kicked his coverage. 🙂
Wow! THAT Tom West. When I read “The Soul of a New Machine” in the early 80’s I new I had the mind of an engineer. I’m still stuck with it. Very interesting that West and Schwarz inspire my two biggest intellectual passions. Curious that Kidder’s “House” didn’t awaken any desire for construction.
How did you get such a beautiful wife? 😉
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