A Review of ‘The Intelligent Hand’


Richard Jones, a skilled designer, woodworker, teacher, writer and author of “Cut & Dried: A Woodworker’s Guide to Timber Technology,” recently helped out at the Classic Hand Tools booth at The North of England Woodworking & Power Tool Show in Harrogate (located in North Yorkshire, England) last month. While there, Richard picked up a copy of David Savage‘s “The Intelligent Hand.”

Richard recently finished reading David’s book, and wrote a review, which he posted on several woodworking forums. He writes:

” … The book is, listed here in no particular order, a mixture of biography, philosophical musings, design methodology built upon an artistic background, drawing as a means to express ideas and develop a personal library of forms, practical methods of working wood, client relations, tying up of loose ends, and so on. He is at turns chatty, reflective, opinionated, and explanatory, has his own way of working, generous to those that have helped or worked with him, and acknowledge his influences.”

And: ” … Do I agree with everything he says? No. Nor will most readers I suspect. On the other hand, he’s not afraid to say it as he sees it, and if you are challenged from time to time, which I was as a relatively experienced (but not well known) furniture designer maker it’s an opportunity to reflect and to evaluate what he says to see if he might be right, and I might be wrong, or vice-versa. If you are fairly new to the subject but possess a desire to develop your own point of view and philosophy, here is a book, along with other sources of information of course, that I think would be beneficial to read.”

You can read the entire review online at UKWorkshop (here) and WoodCentral (here).

You can read more about David’s book here, and more about Richard’s book here.

Kara Gebhart Uhl

This entry was posted in Cut & Dried, The Intelligent Hand, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to A Review of ‘The Intelligent Hand’

  1. nrhiller says:

    Thanks so much for posting this, Kara. I looked up the full review and recommend it. Richard pretty much summed up what I had intended to write by way of a book report (so thanks for saving me that work, Richard!). The one thing Richard didn’t mention and I would have is that the book itself is a gorgeous artifact. I remember Chris saying that he did the design (unless I’m misunderstanding what “art direction” means), which is absolutely stunning.

    • Richard Jones says:

      Glad to have saved you some time and effort, Nancy. It didn’t occur to me to mention how well the physical book appeared. I think I probably assumed people would expect typical high quality standards LAP produce.

      • nrhiller says:

        Yes, Lost Art Press has spoiled us when it comes to production values. My comment was in no way meant as a criticism of what you wrote, but simply to add that this book in particular is beautifully designed, starting with the watercolor-paper texture so clearly reproduced on the jacket and extending throughout. I’m looking forward to reading your book, which I bought a few months back. I can’t keep up with the output!

        • Richard Jones says:

          Enjoy Cut & Dried, please do. Having said that, it certainly is not a novel with a gripping arc, as you would expect in a page turning thriller, but I did set it out in a logical progression of subject matter from beginning to end … logical to me, anyway, ha, ha. Many thanks for buying the book.

          • nrhiller says:

            Don’t thank me for buying it. I will thank you for writing it, which I gather from blog posts here by you and Kara was a massive undertaking. I know I will learn a lot.

            • Richard Jones says:

              That’s very kind of you Nancy. It’s true to say it was a major task to get it from my raw manuscript to the finished book. I owe LAP much for taking it on which, naturally, I have expressed my thanks. Having said that, I get the impression LAP also got a lot out of the exercise.

  2. Thank you Chris for publishing this book

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