I am thrilled to announce that Lost Art Press is bringing the classic “Welsh Stick Chairs” by John Brown back into print with a high-quality North American edition.
I have read “Welsh Stick Chairs” more than 20 times, and it has had an incredible influence on my life.
John Brown introduced the world to the Welsh stick chair (in fact, he might have coined the term). And that style of chair set me on a path that eschews fancy furniture and embraces pieces that were made by the end users, most of whom were amateurs.
Further, John Brown was the first person to put the words “anarchism” and “woodworking” together in his columns in Good Woodworking magazine. This bold move gave me the courage to let my own anarchist flag fly in “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” and “The Anarchist’s Design Book.”
I am not alone. Thousands of woodworkers all over the world discovered a different way to look at the craft through John Brown’s writings. Every time I encountered one of his die-hard fans, they would ask: Why haven’t you brought “Welsh Stick Chairs” back into print?
The answer was simple: We didn’t own the rights.
But thanks to John Brown’s heirs, particularly his son Matty Sears, we have obtained the rights to print “Welsh Stick Chairs” for the North American market. (A second publisher retains the rights in the U.K. and Europe.)
We will do this book justice.
We are resetting the entire book from scratch using the original fonts. This will make the text as crisp as possible. For the photos, we will scan original first edition books (the original photos have been lost) and use high-tech scanning tricks and a very advanced printing press to produce images that will look as good as the originals.
The new edition will look a lot like the first edition. The cover will be a heavy and rough paper. The interior pages will be heavy, smooth and coated. The only change we will make to the binding is that we will sew the signatures together for added durability.
We don’t have a price yet – we are shooting for less than $30. And we expect to release the book in June. Why so fast? I have been working on this book for quite some time. Only now can we talk about it publicly.
“Welsh Stick Chairs” will serve as an excellent companion to our forthcoming book on John Brown by Chris Williams and Kieran Binnie. Their book, which should be out in 2019, will explore John Brown’s woodworking career and the path his chairs took after the publication of “Welsh Stick Chairs.”
It is my sincere hope that this pair of books will inspire future generations of woodworkers, and that the works of John Brown will never be forgotten.
— Christopher Schwarz