The Tale of the Foul-mouthed Countertop Guy can be viewed through a lot of filters: that of the artisan, the customer, macroeconomics and on and on.
However the lesson embedded in the story has nothing directly to do with haggling, the value of craft or Socialism.
Instead, it is about the word “no.”
Run your business so you always, always have the power to say “no.” No to a supplier, a customer, a request for proposal (RFP), an employee. Never overextend yourself or your business so you are powerless and must say “yes” to the customer who demands an unreasonable price, the supplier who treats you like a gnat, a piece of work that is dangerous, an employee who does not pull his or her weight.
Take away whatever you like from the story, but that was the intended lesson, like it or no. And I do like no (though I’m quite polite when I use the word).
We have sold out of “By Hand & Eye” but are working on getting that title back to the printer immediately. If you need the book, check out some of our retailers; many still have the book in stock. We should have the title back in stock – the fourth printing! – by early February.
In other “By Hand & Eye” news, authors Jim Tolpin and George Walker are working on a fascinating “workbook” supplement to “By Hand & Eye.” Written and illustrated like your grammar-school workbooks, it will take you through the exercises to open up your designer’s eye. The authors have been sharing the early drafts with me, and it’s going to be fun. Look for that in 2015.
We are down to our last box of Christian Becksvoort’s “With the Grain.” A third, revised edition is at the printer and should be in stock in early February. For the third printing, Becksvoort added 10 species of trees to the chapter on identifying the different North American commercial species, including the most important Western trees.
If you have the current edition, you can download the pages of the 10 species for free here:
The revised edition will be slightly more expensive because we had to add a signature to the book block.
And in sweatshirt news: We are sold out of 2XL and Large sizes. We are almost out of all the other sizes. We will restock in January with a new brand of USA-made sweatshirt – same color and same logo. These will be about $4 more – a significant increase.
John and I are juggling about a dozen new books right now. Here is what is on the front burner this minute. I don’t have any details on prices on these products, I’m afraid:
“Chairmaker’s Notebook” by Peter Galbert is being designed by Linda Watts. She has the first 10 chapters designed and the book will go to press in January for a February 2015 release.
“Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of H.O. Studley” by Don Williams is written, edited and headed to design in early January. It will be released in March or April – right before Handworks.
“Roubo on Furniture” is translated, edited and awaiting design. Look for it this summer.