First Look: ‘By Hound & Eye’

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Our shipment of “By Hound & Eye” arrived from the printer while I was teaching overseas (yes, it was raining there. It was England). So it was only today that I got my first look at “By Hound & Eye,” the new workbook from George Walker and Jim Tolpin.

This book started out as a hair-brained idea explained to me by George Walker over a lunch of fried chicken, fried hominy and a couple beers at The Eagle in Cincinnati. (This is the place where John and I come up with our craziest money-losing ideas. See “Book of Plates.”)

By the end of the lunch, I was sold on George and Jim’s idea. This workbook was going to be the missing link between thought and action. If George and Jim could just convince readers to pick up a pencil and do some simple exercises, readers would take the first steps into a larger world.

But how? Luckily George and Jim were just crazy enough to drag animator and artist Andrea Love into the picture. Andrea, George and Jim created “Journeyman” and his dog “Snidely” as the mechanism to explain incredibly complex geometrical ideas using simple, almost-childlike lessons that I found myself doing, even while editing their rough text.

At that point – when Snidely and Jouneyman were just stick figures – I knew this book was a piece of fried gold. And somehow between classes and crises, we got this book to the printer.

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Believe it or not, this was the hardest part of the project. George and Jim wanted it to be an inexpensive, softcover workbook. We don’t do that here at Lost Art Press. We do hardcover. Nice paper. Sewn bindings. Blah, blah.

“By Hound & Eye” would be silly in a high-class presentation. But it had to be a quality workbook if it was going to have our name on it.

So what we made is, by publishing standards, a duck-billed platypus. It’s softcover and the text is printed on uncoated stock. But the softcover is printed with a supermatte coating (very expensive) and the binding is sewn so it’s as durable as our hardcover books. And the uncoated paper is the best stuff we could get (#60 basis weight).

So this tacky workbook ended up quite expensive to make and is nice in the hand. And we still brought it in at $20 retail (really, we should have made it $27….).

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We hope that those of you who ordered the book are enjoying it. I think it’s a hoot. But most of all I hope you are giving the exercises a go. That is the key to everything.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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21 Responses to First Look: ‘By Hound & Eye’

  1. Next up, a book about how to make fried chicken and hominy. Charlie Papazian has the market on beer brewing. Don’t worry, have a homebrew.

  2. sjschmidtky says:

    I haven’t received mine yet. Have they all shipped?

  3. A wonderful success!
    Entertainment & Enlightenment in one package, now I call that a bargain.
    Well Done!

  4. wfariss says:

    Who is Snidely based on, George or Jim?

  5. Mario says:

    The quality of the cover is evident at first touch! LAP has another product they can be proud off. I love it!!

  6. Matt Kerr says:

    I have been thoroughly enjoying my PDF. the dividers I bought don’t really agree with the iPad so I had to make my own drawings. I could print but that seems like cheating… An excellent workbook. Thanks.

  7. I didn’t enjoy the book… Because I didn’t bought it (yet). I intend to correct such mistake by the end of the year! Thanks to all the authors and the team of Lost Art Press, for providing us books of such quality (both in manufacture and content)

  8. Brian Ashton says:

    I’ve been waiting like a dog for a bone to get a copy. Unfortunately you don’t ship early release to Canada. I guess I’ll have to wait till Lee Valley stocks it. 😦

  9. Phil says:

    Mine is supposed to arrive today. Looking forward to it. It’s the first book I’ve ordered from you. (I got Anarchist’s from the library).

  10. stradlad68 says:

    Received it a few days ago and I am reading it avidly. Reminds me in a fun and informative way that I studied a lot of this in high school geometry. One of the best knowledge gems is the use of a sector. Now I need to find/make one.

  11. gblogswild says:

    I got the download due to my extreme impatience and my wife’s unending need to balance the difference in the budget. When I buy something, she gets to buy something, so everything we buy ends up costing twice as much as the cover price says.

    These exercises are much as I was taught in an 8th grade math class many years ago that I’d totally forgotten! Reading this has dredged up all kinds of memories of that class (ha – young pretty teacher, we idiot boys kept trying to get her to touch her elbows behind her back. We were happily successful.)

    The stuff with a sector is great – I’d never thought of any of that. I also have a few more tricks with a compass and straightedge for drawing parallel lines and such that a reader should be able to figure out with a few minutes of thought.

    Great book. I want a copy of By Hand & Eye to go with it!

  12. St. Pete says:

    I got mine last night. It is a nice big workbook. I haven’t started on it yet, but initial impression is that it’s too nice to write in. I will, but I’ll feel bad about it for at least the first few pages.

  13. lclement4 says:

    I thought Jim Tolpin was saying, “Hand and Eye” when he told us about the book. I had to laugh when I read the correct title.

  14. Scott Taylor says:

    Just ordered it. Not sure I needed it since I have been using sectors, dividers and a homemade Fibonacci gage for years but it just looked like too much fun and I have ‘By Hand & Eye”…

  15. Scott Taylor says:

    Tolpin’s “Woodworking Wit & Wisdom” and “Measure Twice, Cut Once” are classics and have some great design info also.

  16. Scott Taylor says:

    Got mine, it is great. I believe I will make copies of the pages to work on just to keep the book clean…

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