‘The Shaker Guy,’ in the Portland Newspaper

screen shot 2019-01-06 at 10.35.37 amChristian Becksvoort is featured in the Portland Press Herald today, in a Bob Keyes article in the Books section:

“Christian Becksvoort doesn’t want to be the ornery old guy who complains about how things are and wishes for the way they were.

“He’s generally pretty well disposed, balanced and grateful, and at age 69, shows hardly a hint of slowing down. But he can’t help himself when it comes to talking about how it used to be, back in the day when kids were taught in school how to make things out of wood with their hands. They had to know how to measure, cut and hammer and were supposed to be endowed with enough functional woodworking skills to navigate the basics of home ownership and life.”

While the article focuses on Christian’s latest book “Shaker Inspiration,” it’s also a glimpse into his history, life and woodworking aesthetic.

“He also makes reproductions of traditional Shaker pieces and enjoys taking furniture apart to see how it was made. He’s always learning by understanding how other people have solved problems before him. ‘You can tell two or three people worked on a piece. Some dovetails are real crisp. Parts of others might be real sloppy,’ he said. ‘You can learn a lot by taking it apart.’ There’s a humility to Shaker simplicity that Becksvoort treats with reverence. For him, it always comes back to the opposite of what he calls “maximalism, or how much crap can we put on a piece of furniture?”

Click here to read “Practicality, in life, craft, drives Maine’s most famous furniture maker.”

A reminder that Christian will be at Lost Art Press (837 Willard Street, Covington, Ky., 41011) for a book release party on Jan. 12, from 7-10 p.m. (plus he’ll be in and out during the 10 a.m.-5 p.m. open house). Please shoot me an email (if you’ve not already) if you’re attending the evening shindig.

— Fitz

About fitz

Woodworker, writer, editor, teacher, ailurophile, Shakespearean. Will write for air-dried walnut.
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6 Responses to ‘The Shaker Guy,’ in the Portland Newspaper

  1. davidcockey says:

    In case anyone is confused, the newspaper is from Portland in Maine, not the TV show set in Oregon.

  2. As always, The Shaker Guy is on target when he cites the inferiority of crappy maximalism.
    And, as expected, the book is excellent— I only wish I could be there at LAP to get my edition autographed. Best regards to Mr. Becksvoort!

  3. therealdanh says:

    Nice article, thanks for the link Fitz.

  4. Tucker says:

    Great article by the Portland Press Herald, Christian can be proud of his accomplishments and his skills as a master woodworker / craftsman.

  5. John Mak says:

    Good article, I just order the book from Lee Valley. Apparantly, Becksvoort is a Neil Young fans.

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