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….
— Christopher Schwarz