I spent the morning organizing and packing up more than 500 hand-drawn illustrations that Peter Galbert made for “Chairmaker’s Notebook.” Even though John and I have spent about 150 hours scanning and adjusting the images, they are still as remarkable and wonderful as the day we opened the box.
As all the pages went back into their proper portfolios, it became obvious that you could almost build a chair using the images alone – they are that detailed.
To give a feel for the imagery in “Chairmaker’s Notebook,” I made a short video of a few of my favorites from the book, set to music by The Black Twig Pickers.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. “Chairmaker’s Notebook” is available for pre-publication ordering in our store with free domestic shipping until March 20, 2015 – the day the book ships from the printer.
Also noteworthy: Lie-Nielsen has agreed to carry the book, as well as the other retailers mentioned earlier: Lee Valley Tools, Tools for Working Wood, Highland Woodworking, Henry Eckert Fine Tools in Australia and Classic Hand Tools in the UK. Links to our retailers can be found here.
And finally: A reader noted that our Vimeo videos (and my Vimeo profile) had become populated by some naughty, naughty content. After some digging, it became obvious that having “The Naked Woodworker” in our feed was attracting the smut.
If you encountered this, I apologize. If you missed seeing it, ditto.
In 1990, I was fresh out of college, working my first job at The Greenville News and terrified of being fired.
During my first year on the job as reporter I hit a patch where I made a string of minor errors in my stories that required the newspaper to print corrections or clarifications the next day. And it seemed the harder I worked to get things right, the worse things got.
After a couple weeks of this it got to the point where I couldn’t open the second-floor door to the newsroom. I just froze at the top of the beige-painted stairwell and stared at the fire door.
I had no idea what to do next. So I opened the door and resolved to ride it into the dirt.
At this point in the tale, I’m supposed to tell you that things took a turn for better. That I became a stronger person and a better journalist. But that would be bull#$&@. It got worse.
I made an error in a story about a huge oil spill at a golf course. I misspelled the name of the oil pipeline company at least a dozen times in my story. I should have been fired that day. But I suppose my editor took pity on me.
But even that wasn’t the bottom of the well. Hitting bottom was so painful I can’t really talk about the event except with close friends and my wife. And that wretched weekend is where things started to turn around for me as a writer and a journalist.
What does this have to do with woodworking? For me, everything. When I hit a rough patch in a project or a design, I have found that the only way out for me is to drive the car off the cliff and into the sea. I have to find bottom so I can push off that and find air.
I’ve tried other strategies – walking away from a project and then coming back to it with a fresh attitude and new ideas. For me that’s like pressing “pause” on the Betamax. It only prolongs the inevitable.
Today I am looking for the bottom with this design for a backstool. It has to be around here somewhere.