Before I travel, I make enormous lists of everything I need to do before I depart. At the end of each of these lists I should add this item: Get dumped on.
Less than 24 hours before getting on a plane for Germany, a huge task landed outside my front door in a FedEx box. Inside were the imposition proofs for the deluxe version of “Roubo on Furniture Making.” This was my last opportunity to comb the pages for mistakes before the printer cranks up the presses.
So I dropped everything and spent six hours reviewing all 440 pages. This morning I sent it to Wesley Tanner, the designer, so he could look it over for design errors. When Wesley completes his work, the book will go on press.
So when will you see this book? I talked to our printing representative yesterday, and he is hoping that the books will ship to our warehouse on or about July 17. The printing part is fast. Then the sheets have to be trucked to New Mexico to be bound (very few binderies can handle a book of this size). And they have to hand build the slipcases for each book.
If the schedule changes, I’ll let you know.
For those of you who clicked on the link for the deluxe version of “Roubo on Furniture Making” and felt your checkbook stroke out, here’s the deal. This book will be about as nice a modern book as can be purchased. It’s something that is difficult to describe on a web page or in words. When people see it in person (these volumes are 11” x 17”) and they see the quality, they understand the price tag.
John and I are taking a sizable financial risk with this book (the print run cost as much as our storefront building), but we are more than willing to stick our necks out to bring something into this world that is this special and rare.
We just have our fingers crossed that after the books come out, we don’t say: “Want fries with that?”
“According to my experience, one usually makes the best kind of plans during a holiday, and not only, I think, because mentally as well as physically we have a breathing space. We are told that the sunken lanes of England represent the old trackways along which men’s plodding footsteps for two thousand years or more battered down the soil till the banks rose high on either side, giving shelter and protection but cutting off the view. Almost inevitably our daily lives get like that, following the routine paths it seems endlessly, till suddenly we are in the clear again and can see the buttercups in the meadows, the kingfisher flashing across the stream and the wide vault of heaven above us. At holiday times, as we move about the countryside, passing through small country towns and villages which have hitherto only been names to us, perhaps made famous in history or perhaps not famous at all yet with some flavour of the past, some magic of a word in them to link them with the dawn of our race, then something stirs in us; something that knows its affinity with the men who cleared this good earth and who laboured and built and passed on the work of their hands to us, and within it the inherent beauty that showed it was good. They built with chalk and flint and stone and wood just where they found them so that the homes they built fit snugly into the countryside as if they grew there, and everywhere we find traces of very ancient craftsmanship which has lived on in one form or another to the present. There is the ancient craft of flint-knapping which goes back two thousand years or more to the time when flint was used by the huntsman before ever man began to build their homes with it; and there is the thatch, the traditional roofing for humble dwellings long before the Saxons came; and there are walls bonded with brick courses in the old Roman style which, like the Roman roads underlying some of our modern highways, are caught up in a living tradition. We get these sudden glimpses of a remote past sometimes when we are least looking for them and they take us back to our roots as nothing else can.
“… There was a time when men, working with their hands, achieved grace and truth as naturally as they breathed because they worked soundly in a sound tradition. To-day we have to relearn these things and make our own standards. If we are willing to keep a high heart, if we hold fast to those moments of vision which we have received outside the bustle of living, then the skill which we learn will wed itself to the skill we have inherited, something older than ourselves which we can pass on to our children and, till heaven and earth pass away, the price and the joy of good workmanship shall not fail.”
— “Ancestral Voices,”Charles Hayward, The Woodworker magazine, 1955