Were it not for the translation expertise of Ingmari Bergqvist, and the work of Heather Barthell and Peter Follansbee (along with the author) in massaging that translation, it would have taken far longer than it did to get an English-language version of Jögge Sunqvist’s “Slöjd in Wood” (first written and published in Swedish) ready for press.
But we’re almost there – barring any last-minute complications, the file will be off to the printer on Friday morning, available for pre-publication ordering this week and shipping out five weeks thereafter.
I do, however, still have to finish the cover – and that foregrounds the indispensable work of the translators. They did the interior copy, but not the back cover. So to Google Translate I went:
Carved wood is an inspiring ledger that describes how you slides simple, functional and fun wooden objects with knife and ax.
Among other things, you will learn how to make spoons and threads, bowls, butter knives and turtles, hangers, knobs and wings, pine strips, curtain sticks, cutting boards, leather slides and pallets.
What tools and tools do you need? How do you choose the right material? Which woods and techniques are best suited for different objects? The book contains everything you need to know about cleavage, drying, teasing, grinding and grinding, painting and surface treatment. Here is also a comprehensive dictionary that explains all phonetic expressions.
Jögge Sundqvist is a smoother and manufactures painted seating furniture, cabinets, kitchen utensils, sculptures and writing boards in a deep western bastard mooring-tradition as he has learned from his father, Wille. He carefully chooses the material in the woods and processes it roughly with ax and knife. Jögge is represented by public embellishment at museums and at municipalities and county councils. Since 1986 he has held workshops, courses and lectures in both Europe and the United States. s u r l l e is his folk artistic alias. Wood carved out the first time in 2002 and is now published in a completely revised edition.
Good for a laugh, but not so good as descriptive copy.
Now I’ll rewrite that into something more compelling…and recognizable as English. Just as soon as I stop giggling.
Katy has completed a batch of 25 tins of soft wax that is ready to ship. You can read all about it and order some here.
It’s great stuff for the interiors of carcases, as a topcoat over paint, a finish for leather and a lubricant for tools. We love the stuff. All the wax is made entirely by Katy in the workshop here. She mixes it up, packages it and ships it out.
With the first class out of the way at the Lost Art Press storefront, I’m pleased to announce that there are still plenty of Band-Aids – to the best of my knowledge, only four were needed – whew! (And everyone left with an almost-done Dutch Tool Chest – yay!)
That means we’ll have plenty of bandages left for the upcoming classes. Most of these are two-days, over a weekend; Chris works in his shop almost every day, so those of us whom he has so kindly allowed to teach are trying to not trespass on his space and goodwill…too much.
The classes are limited to six people (the number of benches that will comfortably fit in the room), so there’s a 1:6 teacher/student ratio, plus the teacher has an overly qualified assistant (that would be Chris). All of the below are sold out; this is just to give you an idea of the sorts of things on offer, and to let you know that we might yet be adding a couple of 2018 sessions – so stay tuned.
7-8 Make a Shaker Silverware Tray, with Megan Fitzpatrick
21-21 Make a Sector, with Brendan Gaffney
21-25 Make a Welsh Stick Chair, with Chris Williams
2-3 Make a Sector, with Brendan Gaffney
23-24 Make a Shaker Silverware Tray, with Megan Fitzpatrick
21-22 Make a Laminated Fore Plane, with Jim McConnell
“Hands Employed Aright” by Joshua Klein
“Slöjd in Wood” by Jögge Sundqvist
“Cut & Dried: A Woodworker’s Guide to Timber Technology” by Richard Jones
And we are almost done with two streaming videos:
“Spindle Turning for Furniture” with Peter Galbert
“Make a Chair from a Tree” with Jennie Alexander
Luckily, those three books are in the hands of Kara Uhl, Megan Fitzpatrick, Meghan Bates and Linda Watts. The videos are in the hands of John Hoffman and others. So I can focus on expanding “The Anarchist’s Design Book” for a late 2018 release.
The expanded edition will include projects that I’d intended to build for the book. But the book would have been so huge that it seemed crazy to add those additional projects. I guess I am now officially crazy.
The expanded edition will include the following staked projects: an armchair, a three-legged stool and a settee. And it will include the following boarded projects: a mule chest, a high settle, a settle chair and a sitting bench.
Note that if you bought the un-expanded edition of “The Anarchist’s Design Book” you will be able to download the expanded edition for free. (This will be true no matter where you bought the book, whether from us or from our retailers.) There will be no need to buy the expanded edition unless you want more ballast for your ship or insulation for your home.
I was in elementary school when my father hurt his back so badly while working on the farm that his doctor confined him to bed.
My bedroom was immediately down the hall from my parents’, and after school one day I heard disturbing noises – violent banging and rasping – coming from their room. Their door was open a crack, and as I gently pushed my way in, I was surprised, relieved and completely enlightened about my own nature.
My father was lying flat in bed, as per the doctor’s orders. And he was building a small side table in this odd position, without a workbench or his machinery. (In fact, during this convalescence, he completely finished the table, which I still own. He painted a flower on each end and varnished the entire thing. All while on his back.)
Likewise, I’ve never been able to sit still. My dad once offered to give me $5 if I could remain motionless for five minutes. I have never collected on that bet. But after seeing him build a table in bed, at least I know – genetically – where I get my peculiar work habits.
My father’s urge to create was unstoppable. He transformed our house in Fort Smith, Ark., into a delightful English/Japanese garden, learning masonry, fence-building and landscaping on the way. He built a goldfish pond, tended a bamboo garden and installed dramatic lighting. All of this fueled by a remarkable eye for design and unspeakable energy.
When our house in town was perfect, he bought 84 acres outside Hackett, Ark., and proceeded to transform that with his hands and a vision. He bought a drafting table, read a bunch of books and took a class at the Shelter Institute in Maine with my mom. And then bang, we were building the first of two houses without the help of electricity or running water.
He plowed the bottomland and planted strawberries. Then he constructed a second house of his own design that was about 4,000 square feet. We were going to move there as soon as it was complete. I was promised a herd of goats. (Which I have never collected on.) And chickens.
I left for college in 1986, my parents divorced in 1989 and my dad lost heart in the farm.
This man who shaped an Arkansas wilderness of turkeys, rocky soil and armadillos was confined to a tiny apartment in one of those complexes that has a “singles nights” and keno. I thought my dad was done for and was broken in spirit. But I was wrong.
He bought a run-down farmhouse in town and transformed it into another gorgeous estate with a lap pool, workshop and guest cottage. No detail in his house was too small – he hand carved the heating registers with a geometric design I’ve never seen before. He built garden furniture that was so cunningly simple and beautiful that I blatantly ripped it off as a furniture maker. His kitchen was like something in Architectural Digest.
Meanwhile the farm sat dormant and unfinished. We’d go down there to fix walls or hang a new gate, but every visit was depressing.
During one visit, my father told me that the urge to create things every day had vanished. In some ways it seemed a relief to him. He didn’t have to judge himself on his daily labor. He began to take a deeper interest in music and singing (and piano and later cello).
Again, I thought he had reached the end of his creative life. Again, I was wrong.
He sold the farm and bought an old house in the historic district of Charleston, S.C. And again, he set to work rebuilding the garage, workshop and guest cottage. He transformed the interior of the house, and once more he created a perfect human terrarium where he was surrounded by beautiful objects he had collected or made during his entire life, from his time during the Vietnam war to multiple trips to Europe and Mexico.
And here he lies tonight. Flat on his back and dying from cancer he was diagnosed with in 2003. He’s leaving us far too early.
This time, he doesn’t have the parts or tools to build another side table. This time I’m sure we’re at the end.
Or are we?
Without my father’s example, his unstoppable work ethic and his eye for beautiful objects, I’d be a sorry woodworker. Luckily, I grew up in a house where we unapologetically made things. And when dad found beautiful objects made by others, he bought them. He sat them next to his own work and saw how his measured up. Or if it didn’t. And when the next day came, he kept building.
That’s where I come from. I might tell people I come from Arkansas (where I grew up) or Missouri (where I was born). But I really come from a home where our job is to make the world a little more beautiful each day.
And when he leaves us, which could be any minute now, the world is going to be a little less beautiful without him.