The final round of copy editing has been completed on “To Make as Perfectly as Possible,” the penultimate proof has been sent to the designer, Wesley Tanner, for corrections, and, well, I’m confident it will be as perfect as possible. I’ll get one last proof to check again this marked-up copy (thank you Linda Watts for catching errors that I did not), then I believe the plan is to have it to the printer on or before July 1. (At which time there will be much rejoicing.)
I’ve read this volume four times now in as many weeks, and while I realize I couldn’t possibly execute a perfect work in marquetry (having never before attempted it – and Roubo reminds us time and again that good work requires lots of practice), I’m quite certain that I could tell someone how to do it (along with what tropical hardwoods would be best used for any given effect).
I eagerly await volume two (Don et al., get on that, would you?!).
Below, I’ve copied a few of my favorite quotations (I kept a running list whilst editing). So until the thing itself is available, enjoy these wee excerpts.
— Megan Fitzpatrick
“The prevailing display of luxury is also one of the causes of the lack of excellence in works of cabinetry – everyone wishing to have it but without having the means to pay what they are worth.” (Sounds quite contemporary, eh?!)
“This might be due to laziness or inability, or, which is more accurate, by the impossible situation they are in when the merchants pay only half the necessary amount for it to be well made.” (Nice to see that little has changed in the intervening centuries)
“If woodworking is, by itself, an important art should not the knowledge of it be acquired (or at least attempted) as much in theory as in practice? Sadly, this is not very common at the present.” (Kids today…)
“One of the biggest obstacles that I have had to overcome is the cry of the public against big books, which they will not buy because they are too expensive, or they buy but do not read because they are too voluminous. But how could I do otherwise? Should I fool the Public in pandering to their taste but against their interests by giving them an abridged and consequently less expensive edition, but where they will learn nothing…?” (He’s absolutely right, then and now)
“…but when speaking badly of a piece I have always respected the worker, at least that was my intention.” (Good on you, A.J.)