When Jim Tolpin and George Walker first presented the idea of “By Hand & Eye” to me it was going to be a book filled with big ideas plus exercises that you would perform right in the book itself.
After I tried many ways to make this happen at a reasonable cost, we decided that “By Hand & Eye” would instead present the big ideas in a nice hardbound format and explain the exercises that you should do on a separate sheet of paper.
Some readers did the exercises (and had their eyes opened). Others skipped the exercises and were confused or frustrated.
To remedy this, George and Jim have been hard at work for more than a year to create a workbook to accompany “By Hand & Eye.” We are in the final stages of production with this workbook, and it’s been a fun and enlightening project.
Called “By Hound & Eye: A Plain & Easy Guide to Designing Furniture with no Further Trouble,” the workbook is an illustrated cartoon journey through the world of pre-industrial design geometry. It stars Journeyman and his pizza-loving dog, Snidely, as they untangle the world of points, segments, arcs and the three-dimensional world using nothing more than a compass, straightedge and pencil.
After each new idea is introduced, you are shown how to perform the exercise yourself right in the workbook.
As someone who has edited the book and done all the exercises, I can say only this: It is genius.
You can perform all the exercises in an afternoon. And even though I’ve been steeped in this geometry stuff for years, I experienced several eye-opening moments while performing the exercises. Reading about it is one thing. Doing it is another (like woodworking). Also fun: George and Jim have given their work the look and feel of a middle-school workbook, complete with slightly corny jokes.
The workbook will be inexpensive (less than $20), printed in the United States and will be our first softbound book. (Sidebar: We considered many other options, including spiral binding and other exotic binding technologies. They were nice but incredibly, stupidly expensive.)
The workbook is being hand illustrated and hand lettered by Andrea Love, who animated and produced this charming video for “Hand & Eye” that you might recall. She’s in the final stages of inking all the pages of the workbook. Unless something goes completely off the rails (likely involving an alien abduction), “By Hound & Eye” will be released before the end of 2015.
— Christopher Schwarz
12 thoughts on “Coming (Almost Certainly) in 2015: ‘By Hound & Eye’”
Oohhhh! I’m looking forward to this! I think my kids will love doing the exercises with me.
I knew I forgot to mention one in my comments for ‘brides hit the glass’ … Put me on the pre-order list.
Excellent, please inform if/when there is an option to be included on a pre-order list.
So . . . is this book likely to be of use to those of us who have not shelled out for the hardback “By Hand and Eye”? If so, what are the UK shipping costs likely to be?
The answer is: If you have been stumped by some of the concepts in “By Hand & Eye,” then the workbook will help.
I am about 99 percent certain that Classic Hand Tools will carry it in the UK, and there also will be a reduced-price digital version.
Thank you Chris, I will await developments with anticipation!
I still like “By Hound & I”…then again, I’ve not yet read it, so…
Stoked! By Hand and Eye is my favorite furniture related book. Their website is also a very valuable resource
Complete with plastic compass and divider set? 😉
I hope not.
Will Lee Valley be on board for us Canadians?
About 43 years ago I successfully did a complete rebuild on a VW engine with the cartoon illustrated “How to Keep Your VW Alive. A Manual of Step by Step Procedures For The Compleat Idiot.” I was an English major who’d never changed the oil in a car, much less put a wrench to it. Nor did I catch the intentional misspelling of “complete.” Subsequently I became a professional Building Engineer, (blue collar variety)….I like to think in large part because of that book and the positive effect it had on me. Cartoons are a hugely wonderful way to demystify arcane subjects.
Sign me up for the book!
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