They Spelled my Name Right

Being a “Schwarz” really stinks at times. Most people in the United States misspell your name as “Schwartz.”

That’s actually OK with me because that’s how you say it (sort of) in German. Well actually, it sounds more like you are saying a bodily function onomonopia-style after a big dose of the “long chicken.”

I digress.

Today I received my August/September 2012 copy of American Craft magazine, which I have been reading for almost a decade, and I am quoted in it. Yay!

My one paragraph of fame is in the “Voices” column, where the editors asked the question: “How important is history to your work?” The answers, from a variety of artists, were interesting. I’m not an artist, so mine wasn’t so interesting. But I was quoted! And they spelled my name correctly! Yay Schwarz! Oh, here’s my answer:

“History informs everything that I do in the shop or at the drafting table, whether I’m building an 18th-century workbench or an Eames table. But I don’t seek to replicate – that’s like using a phrasebook for a foreign language. Instead, I try to become fluent in ‘campaign furniture,’ or ‘French workbench’ and build things using those same rules of syntax and grammar.

“My guiding principle is from John Ruskin’s ‘Stones of Venice’ (1854): Never encourage copying or imitation of any kind, except for the preserving of great works.”

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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12 Responses to They Spelled my Name Right

  1. Wallis says:

    Who told you that you werent an artist? They lied 🙂
    Keep up the fantastic work Chris.


  2. Graham Burbank says:

    Very few authors can write a technical guide, philosophical manifesto, and historical interpretation in a humorous style that keeps you engaged from cover to cover. Artist with the pen, I’d say. Eh?When ya gonna start the next book yourself there, Schwarz? Get crackin’ ! (Freed from the magazine’s oversight, yer damn funny!)


    • lostartpress says:

      I am working on my next book. I have the first two chapters done.

      What is slowing me down? Teaching. Editing other author’s books. Writing magazine articles.

      Next month a couple things will change here at Lost Art Press that will free up some time for me to write more. So stay tuned.


  3. Eric R says:

    You ain’t bad for a skinny Kentucky kid. lol

    (looking forward to that functional furniture book)


  4. Sean Hughto says:

    We all stand on the shoulders of those who came before. Historical antecedents are a major contributor to our resevoirs of creativity – signposts that help point the way toward quality.

    Black beret notwithstanding, anyone who puts some of themselves into what they make is an artist in my book.


  5. rwyoung says:

    Doubtless you already have a copy of “Art and Fear” by Bayle and Orland on your bookshelf. But for those that don’t here is one of the best quotes (in my opinion) from the book:

    “To require perfection is to invite paralysis. The pattern is predictable: as you see error in what you have done, you steer your work toward what you imagine you can do perfectly. You cling ever more tightly to what you already know you can do – away from risk and exploration, and possibly further from the work of your heart. You find reasons to procrastinate, since to not work is to not make mistakes.”

    Or stated another way, there is a lot more room to grow outside of the box than inside. I’m liking it here on the outside.


  6. Sometimes it’s the small victories in life that mean the most!


  7. rwyoung says:

    Here, let me fix that for you: “I digress.” –> “I digest.”


  8. Congratulations on the mention! I think there is a simple equation to find out how difficult your name is for someone else to spell. Take the total number of letters (a), multiply it by the number of consecutive constants (b), and then to power of the number of Zs (c). BAz. So for like … I don’t know … SZCZEPANSKI, it would equal an incredibly difficult time on the phone. 🙂



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