Christian 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?”
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.