I am pleased to announce that Lost Art Press will publish a book on the life and work of the late John Brown, the Welsh chairmaker who is a personal hero.
The book will be written by Chris Williams. Chris, a Welshman, apprenticed at age 16 as a carpenter and joiner and met John Brown in the early 1990s. He worked with Brown for many years making chairs until Brown retired from the craft.
As the plan for the book stands now, it will be divided into three parts. The first part will be a biography of Brown based on interviews with family, friends, fellow woodworkers and Chris’s personal experiences with Brown. The second part (we hope) will be some of Brown’s best columns from Good Woodworking magazine. We have yet to secure rights to republish these columns, but that is in the works. The third part of the book will be Chris demonstrating how Brown built his chairs.
While the fantastic book “Welsh Stick Chairs” also does this, Chris will explain how many details of the chairs had evolved since the publication of that important book.
We have secured the blessing of almost all of Brown’s children for this book, which was important to me personally.
The road ahead for this book is a long one because we want to give it our very best. In the meantime, we’ll share many of the details we encounter in our research here on the blog. If you don’t know much about John Brown’s work and you read this blog, we think you’ll enjoy the months ahead.
Next up: I’ll write a blog entry about how John Brown entered my life (which was through the written word; I never met him). Then Chris will tell the story of how he came to work with Brown.
— Christopher Schwarz