Forward into the Fantastic Nothing


This morning I clipped my nose hairs (it sure beats braiding them) as I prepared for 16 days of teaching (and taking) a class in England at David Savage’s Rowden workshop. Leaving on long trips is always difficult, and not just because of the excessive follicle primping.

Despite the great privilege of instructing, it is hard to leave behind my family, put my personal work on hold and be disconnected from my library.

So on Nov. 13, I am going to become a hermit.

If you look to the right of this blog entry you will see that I have removed the calendar. And that’s because there isn’t one anymore. I have cancelled everything for 2016 and beyond. After I return home from the French Oak Roubo Project, I’ll be home indefinitely.

Full-hermit mode will help me finish my manifesto (aka “Furniture of Necessity”), reduce the backlog of books clogging the Lost Art Press pipeline and work on restoring our new headquarters building. Plus, I will take a crack at building some of the dozen new furniture designs that are stuffed into my sketchbook.

The chair above is one of those designs. And I almost didn’t want to show it because it raises a lot of questions I can’t answer because I’m getting on a plane. No saddling? Will those legs work? Undercarriage? No relief on the rear curve of the seat? Solid ash? And more? Yeah, I have good answers for all those, but it’s gonna take a book to understand where the heck I am going.

Thanks to everyone who has taken a class with me during the last 10 years. It really has been a blast, I’ve made some lifelong friends and I’ve learned as much as I have taught.

Next time you see me I should have nose-hair dreadlocks. Just got to get some advice from Tom Fidgen first.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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31 Responses to Forward into the Fantastic Nothing

  1. Take a moment to enjoy the beautiful North Devon country side !

  2. Maybe you could teach a class at LAP HQ? You know, like a school? 😉

    I’m sorry that I didn’t get to take a class from you. It’s a bummer, but completely understandable. I know the travel is tough on you guys.

  3. Oh, and does Full Hermit Mode exclude fart jokes?

  4. Rachael Boyd says:

    enjoy your family and your work. hide as long as you need.I am sure we will still be here waiting your next words of wisdom pasted down from the worked wood of the pass.

  5. lscarmic says:

    Wait. What? Is this part of a new “Jokes” category of posts?

  6. kendewitt608 says:

    ENJOY too the fullest.

    My wife says this will save me from buying tools and books. Then maybe we can go on vacation.

  7. wfariss says:

    I’m glad someone else is worried about nose hairs besides me.

  8. Dan Zehner says:

    Enjoy the newfound change! I regret not finding the funds to take a class from you all the more now… Hopefully I can rub elbows with you at WIA over a good pint to thank you for the great Dutch Tool Chest DVD (which I’m neck deep into building at the moment). 🙂

  9. jbakerrower says:

    I was afraid that you would stop before I was able to take your classes. And you did – I retire next summer. I’ll just work on my shop, and tools, and benches, and chests… Until you start again.

  10. Eric R says:

    Never say never.
    When that big lottery ticket hits, I’m paying whatever it costs to inject some Schwarz mo-jo into my woodworking chops.

  11. wb8nbs says:


  12. Thanks and best wishes. You’ve taught me a lot.

  13. npc29 says:

    Glad to have snuck in a class before your sabbatical. Best of luck wherever your endevours take you.

  14. Niels Cosman says:

    Are you building another french oak Roubo?
    *seethes with jealousy!*

  15. abtuser says:

    I was saving all my S&H Green Stamps to take a class with Chris. Darn. Guess I’ll have to settle for a couple of blenders.


  16. meanmna says:

    Here is to hoping it is not a permanent change. I gotta think you will miss the teaching at some point and perhaps start again with a more limited schedule. At least we have the blog for you to continue to educate.

  17. mrogen says:

    Chris please make sure there is a ramp for the disabled wheelchair users out there. Six months, maybe a bit more if I’m lucky. Otherwise a forklift will work okay. It seems like yesterday a tall thin, dark bearded guy and a limping ex hippie shook hands and put voice to face.
    You’ve come so far, yet your flight has just begun. I look forward to hearing and possibly even seeing some of it in action. The need to communicate is upon me so let’s try to make it happen if only for those rare occasions that necessitate it.
    Safe flight, great time, safe home.


  18. Paul Z says:

    Glad to also have taken the Roubo workbench class before your time off. I’ve learned a lot from you and respect all that you’ve taught and written about. Best wishes to you and your family, take it easy. Paul Z

  19. richardwootton says:

    Well Chris, I do regret never having been able to take a class with you. However, I look forward to following your future pursuits. Just make sure Roy, Peter, Paul, et ceterra don’t follow suit. Lest we are left teaching our own classes.
    Best of luck mon frere

  20. richardwootton says:

    Well Chris, I am sad to say that I was never able to take a class taught by you. However, I do look forward to following along with your future pursuits. Just make sure Peter, St. Roy, Paul, et cetera don’t follow suit! Otherwise us lowly hand tool nerds with no formal training might start teaching the most blasphemous of hand tool crackpottery!
    Best of luck mon frere

  21. rondennis303 says:

    TMI!!!! Braided?? Four plat or just a simple three?? But then, being a homebody has many charms. Your might find out what a “normal” home life is all about. In your case, a house full of estrogen!

    I wish you and yours all the best.

  22. simonjhillier says:

    Good on you Chris, home time is the best time and you will certainly have plenty to do with the new LAP acquisition.

    Looking forwards to seeing how your course at Rowden goes, more so the one you are being student than teacher.

    Also, can’t wait to see how the new home / LAP HQ comes along too, best regards.

  23. misterlinn says:

    Further to Mike’s comment at the top of the page, will you get time to visit David Charlesworth in Hartland? It’s only 35 minutes away from Rowden.

    I’d love to be listen in on that conversation…

  24. KampWood says:

    Will you be doing LAP events such as WIA and Handworks?

  25. Ryan Starkey says:

    Good for you Chris, balance in all things, sounds like the right choice. (even the nose hair) I have been looking forward to “Furniture of Necessity” for a while so selfishly I’m happy for that. I can always mail you beer.

  26. Kevin Thomas says:

    I have to say that I’ve gotten use to taking a class of yours, about once every three years. I will miss those opportunities. Good luck and I’ll see you at WIA.

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