Whether you realize it or not, we pour a significant amount of the money you send us into our research library. While it might not be as impressive as the mechanic’s library at Winterthur or the American College of the Building Arts, we want to be grounded in the past as we write and edit books.
We use local libraries when we must, but it’s unwise to do research at the University of Cincinnati at 5:30 a.m. in your underwear. And that’s exactly what I was doing this morning as I was trying to shake off some jet lag from my trip to the Northwest. Something led my hand to Jan van Vliet’s “Book of Crafts & Trades” (Early American Industries Association, 1981).
This reprint includes a reappraisal of van Vliet as an artist after many years of academic dismissal or scorn. However, all I could think about this morning were the tables, stools and benches shown in the plates.
Of course, they were practically all staked construction, with the kind of detail only the Dutch can muster. Finding this small cache of amazingly detailed drawings was just what I needed for a couple of the projects in “Furniture of Necessity.”
And so to celebrate, I bought a reprint of a related book from 1568. So, if you wouldn’t mind buying a few extra Lost Art Press T-shirts this week….
Back in January, Chris came to my studio in Oak Park, Illinois to help cull the thousands of images in our Virtuoso archive down to the several hundred-or-so that are featured in the book. It took several days, but at the end of that process we had the scaffolding in place for Wesley Tanner to begin designing the book, and I had a pile of selected photographs (“picks”) to begin preparing for print. Though photographs are standard fare for any print publication, they play a significant role in Virtuoso. I thought I’d provide a behind-the-scenes look at how we approached the final stages of image processing.
In addition, I’m bringing a finished three-legged backstool and trestle table from my forthcoming book “Furniture of Necessity.” So come take a look at these designs and sit in the chair to see if it’s stable or not (drunkards welcome). We’re also happy to sign any books while we’re there – even if we didn’t write them.
This year, we’re planning a meet-up for Friday night at one of the local breweries. We’ll have details at the show on Friday (we haven’t finalized them, yet, or I’d post them here).
As always, the Lie-Nielsen show at Popular Woodworking has a good stable of exhibitors: