‘Grandpa’s Workshop’ by Maurice Pommier

In furniture-making circles, it is the highest compliment to say that another person has “wood in their blood.”

At Lost Art Press, we think that every individual has a deep connection to this incredible natural material. After all, the history of our civilization is so closely intertwined with that of the forest that it is almost impossible to discuss one without the other.

This connection, which is buried in both our genes and social history, needs only a spark of something to bring it alive into a flaming passion for wood – and building things with it.

And that is why we are particularly proud to announce the publication of “Grandpa’s Workshop” by Maurice Pommier, the latest title from Lost Art Press and our first children’s book.

This 48-page book was translated this year for us by Brian Anderson, an American-born writer and woodworker who lives and works in France. It is ostensibly a book for children, though the stories, lessons and drawing style will appeal to anyone who has an appreciation for the natural and the fantastical.

Pommier paints an unbroken line of craftsmen from a French family, and he traces the history of their lives and their work through their tools and the stories of them being handed from one worker to the other – against the backdrop of colonization, the gold rush, World War I and the time when Dragomir the dragon wreaked havoc in the Black Forest.

The tale is told through the eyes of Sylvain, the youngest of the woodworkers in the family, as he spends his vacation in the shop of his grandfather, who he calls Pépère. Sylvain wants to learn all about the hand tools in Pépère’s shop and the elves who hide amongst the shavings, benches and tool chests there.

As each tool’s story is told, Sylvain learns a little more about his family and its connection to woodworkers all over the world, and this eventually leads to him being haunted by a sad family secret that is told to him by the woodshop’s elves (in a dream).

Grandpa’s Workshop” is a simply magnificent tale filled with hundreds of beautiful illustrations that you and your children will find intoxicating. It is a story that is untouched by the modern tendency to sugar coat stories for our children, and it is a little bit scary in parts – there is a vicious dragon, a tragic jobsite accident, a war and even a family murder.

In the end, of course, “Grandpa’s Workshop” is a tale that will fascinate and perhaps spark something in the reader – perhaps a love for wood, the mysteries of the forest or even working with one’s hands.

The English translation of this 2007 book has been approved by Pommier, the author. And we took pains to build the English version of this book so it matches the experience of reading it in the original French. We’ve even printed the book in an oversized European size with a special thick paper stock to closely match the original’s print run.

Like all Lost Art Press books, “Grandpa’s Workshop” is printed in the United States. Its signatures are Smythe sewn and casebound for durability. The price is $22.

This book is part of a special run of 3,000 copies that is authorized by the French publisher. We are not sure if the French publisher will authorize a second printing, so act now to avoid disappointment. Sounds like Ronco talk, but it’s not.

Grandpa’s Workshop” is scheduled to ship from the printer the first week of October 2012. If you order it before that date, American customers receive free domestic shipping. You can order it now through our store here.

If you’d like to download a short excerpt in pdf format, click here.

We will announce the book’s availability through our other usual distributors as they sign on to carry the book. As of today, we do not have any to announce.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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24 Responses to ‘Grandpa’s Workshop’ by Maurice Pommier

  1. michael.hahn@astrazeneca.com says:

    Arrrgh! Shopping cart will not let me select a country outside of USA! It won’t give me a drop down of countries to select from… 😦
    Michael – Sydney Australia.

    • Phil Spencer says:

      this sends me straight to No 7 on the Bristol Stool Chart. The LAP blog goes to an international audience and yet LAP only sells inside the mighty USA. How silly is that, how much market and income is the LAP missing out on.? Think they need a good business manager!

      • lostartpress says:


        We are two people who do LAP part-time. This is a TINY business. Smaller than a corner store.

        International shipping which we tried for a while is extremely time-consuming. Hours of manual forms and waiting in line to process orders at the USPS for a company this size.

        We use our retailers Lee Valley, Lie-Nielsen and Tools for Working Wood to handle international orders.

        And that is good business. For them and us.

      • Phil Spencer says:

        How about putting that on your ordering page so us poor sods who happen to live outside the USA can easily figure it out or how about a link that will direct us poor sods automatically?
        Sorry if I am coming across sarcastic and strongly heavy handed but yours is not the only site that does this, but we do not know the size of your operation or the difficulties you have that is the problem with the internet I suppose.
        it is very frustrating when you want to buy something and the site won’t let you, it happens a lot and only with US sites., so unfortunately you all get a poor reputation.
        So as I suggested how about getting your web-master to modify your shop sire so a customer is automatically directed to one of your affiliates who does deal with customers
        from outside the US as it is your shop site lets you down in this regard, as a small business can you afford to let customers give up in frustration?

        • lostartpress says:


          Our site won’t allow us to automatically redirect international customers. But we have a link at the top of every page: International Customers.


          This shows who carries our products in and out of the United States.

          Until we are big enough to afford a professional pick-and-pack service, we have to rely on our retailers who have the staff and resources to make overseas shipping part of the routine.

  2. Tim Henriksen says:

    Fantastic! Emma and I can’t wait.

  3. After trying and failing to order a copy to be sent to Canada, I anxiously await notification that it will be available at LEe Valley.

  4. David Gendron says:

    I would love to get a french copy… do you know how and where I can get one??

    • bawrytr says:

      David, it is available on Amazon.fr. — Dans l’atelier de Pépère, by Maurice Pommier

      Cheers, Brian Anderson

    • burbidge says:

      I just bought a copy (in French) from a small operation in Italy – they happily post to Australia. Maybe their economy is in more dire straights than that of the USA, or they’re wanting to grow their business.

      Will Lee Valley be stocking a french edition too (they are Canadian after all)? However, if you are purchasing outside the americas, the freight for The Anarchist’s Toolchest and Cabinetmaker and Joiner to ship down to Aus was a lot more than the cost of the two books.


  5. Stuart says:

    Reblogged this on Stu's Shed and commented:
    The illustrations in this book have me hooked already – they have obviously done with such care, capturing the details wonderfully. From the handplanes to the workbench, you can really get an appreciation of Grandpa’s workshop. Thoughts then drift to aspiring to being considered in the same way by my future generations. Is it just me, or does the boy look like a young Tintin?!

  6. Bernard Naish says:

    Hi, I hope I get a chance to buy it here in England. Bernard Naish

  7. Rainer says:

    Cool! Will we Canadians be able to get it (through Lee Valley, I’d assume), or will it be too small a run at 3000?

  8. sean3047 says:

    Would love to buy this for my son! I plan on building him a mini-Roubo and some wooden play-tools for his third birthday, this book would be a perfect accompaniment!

    So please tell, how do I get a copy shipped to me here in Australia?

  9. Phil Spencer says:

    I would like to pre order a copy for my grandsons, sadly the LAP side does not recognise any one outside the mighty USA in their shop, I find this happens on a lot of US sites, what is the matter Chris, don’t you want to sell to someone in Australia? You know if you venture beyond the shores of the USA you will not fall off the edge! There is a whole big world out there, I would like to make my purchase off you not a second string seller.

  10. Derek MacInnis says:

    For anyone in the Ottawa area, I get my mail through the American Embassy here so it’s US based. Shoot me a not if you’d like me to add a copy to my order for you. You’ll just have to come and pick it up. I’m at . Happy to help out, since I’m ordering a couple copies anyway!

    I’ll arbitrarily say Thursday, 30th August, is the day I’ll send in an order.


    • Derek MacInnis says:

      Hi Sorry,

      Not sure why, but my email address was stripped out. I guess if you don’t see it now (derek.macinnis2@forces.gc.ca), then just reply to this post and I’ll tally up the numbers from Chris’ blog.


  11. David Barbee says:

    What is up with the necked chick riding the unicorn. My wife is a teacher and she thought it was a neat idea. She said, “I’ll have to put a post-it note over the necked woman if I use it at school.”

    • bawrytr says:

      You know what they say about French girls – there is a naked sorceress that gallops her goat through my hamlet here all the time. Entertaining, but the other day I parked my new Jag sticking out into the road just a little bit, and she got fired up and turned it into a beat up old Ford. 😦

      — Brian Anderson

  12. Vernon Doucette says:

    Perhaps off topic, but I like the tool chest. It might offer an option for those of us who suffer from chronic back problems.

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