Furniture, War, Design


But what of this new style that has been struggling through to beauty in these post-war years? One sees the impressionistic school of pre-war days. One sees a war-racked England, struggling to get away from its own nerves – the nerves that it inherited form the past. The race feels intensely that things must change.

There are creations like flashes of lightning, or the stars seen by one dazed by a blow; jazz designs in upholstery, sideboards with the oddest shapes stuck on their ends, things designed to meet eyes that are too weary to rest.

— The Woodworker, April 1933

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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15 Responses to Furniture, War, Design

  1. Jonas Jensen says:

    Damn I could use the intoxicating smell of teak from cutting dovetails right now.
    By the way, so you use some special glue for teak on account of the oil naturally in the wood?

    • lostartpress says:


      Most people use polyurethane glue when working with teak.

      I’ve had good success in the past (pre-polyurethane in the United States) with epoxy.

      However, many cabinet pieces went together with hot hide glue, and so I am investigating those processes before I assemble the carcase of this chest.

      • Graham Burbank says:

        Polyurathane, while messy, foamy,and a general P.I.T.A. to use, works well with teak. If you opt for “death stick” hide glue, may I suggest an acetone wash?

  2. Bob Davidson says:

    I used epoxy to glue the teak on my boat. Worked great. (The entire boat is held together with epoxy and wood dowels. I used MAS epoxy with slow hardener, by the gallon. The slow hardener gives the longest working time of any glue I ever worked with.) (I liked the smell of working with teak, also.)

    • Graham Burbank says:

      Smith makes a “Tropical epoxy for oily woods” that is designed for it, but oh, the price! Fine if you’re using a boat’s worth, but the 2 gallon set will set you back a bit.

  3. John Vernier says:

    I’m certainly interested if you find any period tricks about gluing teak. The Greene and Greene works in teak which I have examined are as tight as the day they were made 100+ years ago, and that includes things like splined miter joints which nobody would look for unless they had been tipped off by the architects’ drawings.

  4. Sam I Am says:

    Old Brown Glue, would be my first, and only choice.

  5. abtuser says:

    I’ve used TB III, so far, it’s worked well for teak.

  6. jborgschulte says:

    Purdy tails! How does teak pare and plane?

  7. Tom Pier says:

    The success of the arts during that all so bizarre time between the wars shines a harsh light on how little creativity has come out of our current economic chaos.

    • tsstahl says:

      The baseline manual skill of the populace is a lot lower now.

      There are some exciting things happening in the digital realm; though you can’t eat a binary cake, or sit on a beautifully rendered 3D Louis XV settee.

    • billlattpa says:

      People can’t afford to be “artisans” anymore. At least the average person. Somebody is going to point out that the artisan of the past was hardly wealthy by today’s standards. True, if you are considering monetary wealth. But I can tell you that the average person of today would never be able to afford to have a blacksmith shop, or joinery shop, or candlemaking operation attached to their homes and expect to make a living off of it, like the artisans of the past did. Many of the artisan tradesmen of the past were also farmers big and small when it came to the American colonies. Their trades were, in more than a few cases, supplemental income. Their farms fed their families. That’s not happening in many places today. Like you pointed out, today’s economy makes it even more difficult for artisan trades to flourish.

      • Tom Pier says:

        Perhaps we are wrong and, unknown to us, a flourishing art and music scene is going on that we fail to recognize. Perhaps we/I are assuming that people as a group recognized the world class art, music and writing that was taking place during those turbulent times between the wars. Or more likely, worried about their own life they failed as a group to understand the quality of what was being presented to them. Until reading the above quote I had not considered works in wood as part of the explosion of artistic expression that took place during that period.

  8. I think another thing at issue here, is that the “average” person spends more of their disposable income, on disposable things. Expand the “anarchist” theme to the whole home. Two tv’s, cable (monthly fee), mobile phone (monthly fee), garbage (monthly fee). We fill our homes with items that barely have any sentimental value, and are in no way considered items that will belong to the “family” to come, and our paychecks are also the target of every company who can conceive of a plan to get something out of them “monthly”.

    In the day, more was spent, on a few special items, that as wealth progressed, were mean’t to be passed on. The average person, (and I’ve fallen into the traps at times” are slaves to tons of things, that my family will curse me for the time it takes to dispose of as they dispose of my remains.

    I’m trying to look at the entire house in the “anarchist” way. But it’s virtually impossible if the wife doesn’t agree with the plan. And mine most assuredly does not. Things, things and more things, that the game.

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