Recently I sat for a nice interview with Finn Koefoed-Nielsen, a U.K. furniture maker who started his career through home restorations.
One of the things we discussed was how John and I started Lost Art Press. So-called “origin stories” (I got me superpowers after being bit by a horney alpaca) are interesting to me. But I’ve never sat down and hammered out the one for Lost Art Press.
In 2006, John and I attended the Lie-Nielsen 25th anniversary open house. John got to chatting with Christian Becksvoort and asked Chris: “Why haven’t you written any more books?”
Chris gave John a history lesson on how corporate publishing works and how most authors make very little money in the end but the publisher gets rich. I didn’t need the lesson; I was working for F&W Publications and was living the life.
That night John and I sat up late drinking beer and eating melted chocolate. I had brought some Esther Price chocolates (a local delicacy) to give to Thomas Lie-Nielsen. But during the flight and drive they’d melted into one disgusting-looking mass. Like a molten meteor from the Planet PMS.
This is where Finn’s story picks up on his blog. Note his excellent logo. A squirrel. (I assume it’s a red one.)
So there John and I sat with too many beers; chocolate smeared on our faces and hands. Instead of talking about our feelings we talked about publishing. My first book, “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use,” was working its way into my laptop. And I had a lot of ideas for other books that were not very commercial.
And, like all magazine editors, I was certain I was going to be fired. (Note: In 28 years of publishing I’ve never been to a single retirement party for a magazine editor. Like the moon landing, they don’t happen.)
The next day we were hungover, crashed from the sugar rush and waiting on our plane back to real life. Slumped in our seats in the Portland terminal, we decided to investigate this idea a little more.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. The interview with Finn covers a lot more ground, including details on some of our upcoming projects.