When Your Boss is a Proper Wiener


Lots of people ask me what I miss the most about working at Popular Woodworking Magazine. I am supposed to reply: “I miss the people.” But that’s not true.

I miss the fights.

Now, I don’t miss the jerk-won’t-look-you-in-the-eye brooding that sometimes accompanies an office brawl. But nine times out of ten, an honest spat made the end product better. Magazine covers looked better. Techniques were explored deeper. Assumptions were sunk.

Now that I work at home alone, I have tried to maintain that atmosphere by sending out my work to friends, colleagues and people I know who disagree with me for them to look it over. And as always, many of my ideas are vetted first on the blog, where people are happy to take a hatchet to them.

The result is, almost always, a better product.

Last night I pored over my proofs for “Campaign Furniture,” and realized I didn’t like some of the “beauty shots” of the finished furniture. So today I tore apart our house to shoot new photos. And then I sent them to Megan Fitzpatrick for her to assail. Then I took them over again. Sent them out….

This process continued until I needed a beer. Which is right now.

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. While all the photographic criticism below is appreciated, it is for naught. The shoot is over. The pages are set.

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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37 Responses to When Your Boss is a Proper Wiener

  1. fitz says:

    I need a beer…to get through the fights. I don’t even like beer.

  2. I never drink beer unless I want to.

  3. Mark Hawkins says:

    I like the green walls 🙂 As a photog, the long shots are not nearly as important as the details. Don’t sweat the small stuff Chris. Drink another New Glarus Snowshoe, and be happy with a job well done.

  4. I think we should talk about the elephant in the room.

    No, not that one; the one on the window sill.

  5. daltxguy says:

    Which is another way to say, “you miss the people”. Unless inanimate objects are challenging your ideas…

    Message auto-generated by FurnitureCriticCrawler.com

  6. jbgcr says:

    I think you need a manservant, a tree, and a tiger.

    • lostartpress says:


      Believe me, I was chasing pith helmets and elephant feet that had been converted into stools. No lie. That was a year ago.

      Then I decided that I didn’t want to make the book too much about the stereotypical objects we associate with British India. As you’ll see (I hope) in the book, this furniture was a large part of life in Victorian England because of the new middle class, a population explosion and overcrowded cities.

      But, yeah, I miss Ty.

      • jbgcr says:

        My Grandmother, born in 1881 and very Victorian, had a suitably Victoria home and it was full of stuff – not expansive as your photos. My Grandfather’s campaign chest in the basement had his pith helmet and Sam Brown belt on top, his walking stick leaning beside, and his puttees and mustache wax in a drawer. And postcards from Egypt, Sudan, Iraq, Turkey, India, and South Africa. Magic to me as a boy.

      • Hank Cohen says:

        Have your read Jim Corbett? You should.

      • jbgcr says:

        Yes, my Grandfather knew Jim Corbett. He also knew Lawrence of Arabia. I’m going to use Chris’ book to help me design a wall cabinet in Campaign style to display my Grandfather’s medals. He was awarded the Kings and Queens medals 3 times and the Khedive medal twice. Many battle bars on the ribbons – Khartoum and The Atbara.

  7. Get Narayan there. I often suffer because I try to do it all – I think you do also.

  8. fitz says:

    Don’t be silly. I’m Irish; there’s plenty of rage from plenty of sources.

  9. lostartpress says:

    While all the photographic criticism is appreciated, it is for naught. The shoot is over. The pages are set.

  10. Ron Harper says:

    I love the chair. Where can I find a drawing?

  11. tpier says:

    Good call on the beer, it tends to make everything look a little better.

  12. Reinhardt says:

    Like the photos look forward to getting your book

  13. toolnut says:

    Nice. What’s the piece under the folding desk in the first picture? I’m looking at this on an ipod and can’t make it out. Thanks.

  14. nateharold says:

    Is that double-hung window painted shut?

  15. dzj9 says:

    St. Stephen, the patron saint of headaches.

  16. rwdawson says:

    Poutine. In 2000, former Prime Minister Jean Poutine endorsed George W. Bush, Everybody knows that.

    I believe Mr. Poutine still lives in Canada’s capital, Toronto. Everybody knows that, as well.

    • Daniel Roy says:

      Thanks a lot! Now, every time I eat some poutine I gotta think about this guy! Chris, ban this guy will you! He probably never put vinegar on his fries!

      • rwdawson says:

        Yes, I do put vinegar on my fries! And I learned a lot about Canada from 22 Minutes: The senseless slaughter of polar bears in Toronto, the preservation of the national igloo, Canada getting it’s first woodie, people jumping off the Manns Bridge. It’s all on the internets.

  17. Chris, I really love the chair, how do you call it? Is it campaign/victorian furniture as well? Thanks

  18. g2-87cc707f0aa4e62f4a92f77f89ccba9d says:

    Always appreciate your photographs. I did not see the previous set, but effort put into this set is well worth it. Beautiful furniture and presentation.

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