On Friday morning i finished my first comprehensive edit of Ants Viires’s “Woodworking in Estonia,” the next book we’ll be publishing.
In many ways, “Woodworking in Estonia” is unlike any other book we’ve published during the last decade. It’s an ethnographic study of the wood culture of a Northern European country from the 10th to the 20th centuries. There is no direct “how-to” information in the book. It has thousands of footnotes in Russian and Estonian. And few Americans can point to Estonia on a map. Here, let me help remedy that.
But at the same time, it’s a lot like every book we’ve published. It is an account of what has been lost. If you are willing to dig into this book, the rewards are substantial. It is a comprehensive overview of the flourishing, plateau and decay of a wood-based culture. It is told without romanticism. No politics. And it has hundreds of beautiful hand illustrations and photographs of things that I want to build. (I never knew I wanted to build a sled before!)
Today I started my second comprehensive edit of the text. This job should take a week – as opposed to the three months I spent on the first edit. Then it will have a quick (I hope) copy edit and will be off to the printer in June.
I know that some of you out there will be bemused by the book. Some of you will buy it only to support us (thanks!). But some of you will dive in, you’ll weather the odd-sounding place-names and technical jargon, and you will see incredible beer mugs. Fascinating workbenches. Rakes. Spinning wheels. Latvian chairs. Hollow vessels made from tree trunks. Boards fastened with bird feathers. And on and on.
It’s an important book for green woodworking and woodworking in general. And we are proud to be bringing it to you with the full support of the Viires family (more on that in a future post).
Stay tuned for more information on this book in June.
— Christopher Schwarz