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