David Binnington Savage (1948-2019)

David Binnington Savage died on Friday, Jan. 18, after a hard-fought battle with cancer. David was an artist, writer, furniture maker and designer, and a father figure to me.

“Reluctant to give in, he fought to the end, and continued to talk of Rowden (his workshop and school),” his wife, Carol, wrote to me in an email. “A true artist to the core, he was even inspired by the new spring growth outside his window to draw a design in his notebook just days before passing.”

You can read more about David’s life and work in this profile by Kara Gebhart Uhl.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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23 Responses to David Binnington Savage (1948-2019)

  1. Oh dear…… I am saddened. I do not know the man personally, only through observing his work and reading about his life. His obvious talent is spectacular, and even though I am a rank amateur dreamer woodworker, I am inspired by the man and his philosophy. My condolences to his family and friends.



  2. Chris Ackerman says:

    Chris: I am so sorry. We all know how much David meant to you.


  3. johncashman73 says:

    That is incredibly sad news. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

    You should be pleased you were able to get his book out, and that he had some time to witness the acclaim for his life’s work. It’s no small thing.


  4. Roger Benton says:

    Sorry to hear you lost a good friend.


  5. Tom Bittner says:

    I just started reading his book and was wondering how he was getting along. His thoughts, ideas and words will live on through his book and the work that he did.


  6. Kyle Barton says:

    So sorry to hear. My condolences to you and all of his family and friends.


  7. Richard Mahler says:

    The Intelligent Hand is a gift to artists and woodworkers, bringing as it did not only Savage’s incredible artistry and vision, but also a philosophy of life and work uniquely his own: unapologetic while remaining considerate of other viewpoints and the harsh realities of the world we live in. It is inevitable that we experience the loss of great talents and thinkers and wish it were not so, but The Intelligent Hand is a book we will often think about and return to, that others will discover over ensuing years, a monument to what creative minds and hands may still accomplish, Much thanks to Schwarz and Lost Arts Press.


  8. djmueller says:

    How wonderful LAP was able to publish David’s book before his passing.


  9. Rudy Everts says:

    This sucks. My condoleances.


  10. jzahn4858 says:

    So sorry for your personal loss Chris; I could tell by your writing how much David meant to you. And, sorry for all of us that we’ve lost such a talented and inspirational member of our craft. I’m grateful that you all were able to publish his book, and I’m looking forward for reading it.



  11. yellowax says:

    Chris, I am very sorry for your loss.


  12. Andrew Brant says:

    My condolences for the loss. Thank you for sharing his work before he passed. You all did a great honor to him by making The Intelligent Hand with him, and we are all better for it.


  13. Jim Blank says:

    Chris, I am very sorry for your loss. I lost my mentor 9 years ago and I still think
    of him often. Treasure the fond memories of David. You can never have those taken
    from you.
    Jim Blank


  14. Very sad.. my condolences! Looked forward to his regular post in my inbox. The last one I received only days ago attached below. He passed on his knowledge, skills and furniture making insight to generations of budding woodworkers. Norman

    Hi Norman
    Anyone who comes to study at Rowden needs accommodation. There are five basic types, and they all are pretty self-explanatory. And they all have their pros and cons.
    Rent a house or flat: expensive, but means you can get away from it all – and ideal if there’s more than one of you.
    Rent a room: very civilised, quite a few close by, probably be in a house with other students so you get to share cooking and the “commute”.
    Caravan: live on-site, nice private space, and all the luxury of caravan living! This is what I did, and I loved it.
    Pitch a tent: A tent is only for the hardy, but each to their own, and I have to say the tenters are a tough breed and seem to really enjoy it.
    Rock a Campervan. Now, I reckon I missed a trick when I stayed at Rowden. A campervan has to be the best and most interesting prospect for anyone coming to live in the Southwest for the first time, and for a year. With 50 odd weekends free to do what you will, how exciting would it be to be able to down tools on a Friday afternoon and be off on an adventure for a few nights.
    We have a campervan now and are only just getting our head around how versatile it is. A trip to a nearby beach for a barbecue and a paddle, no problem. Tour the coastline for a weekend, yes, yes. Bat over to France, mais oui! Once round the whole of Wales, well, why not.
    I even think, if you’re smart, you could buy a second hand campervan before the course, live in it for a year, travel a whole load, then clean it up and flog it for more or less what you paid for it! Everyone’s a winner!!
    We’re planning our next trip as we speak… map? Check. Dart? check.
    Thanks for being a loyal email subscriber. We appreciate hearing from you. Let us know if you ever have any questions.
    Until next time,

    Kind Regards
    David Savage
    Rowden Farm workshops, Shebbear, Devon, EX21 5RE, UNITED KINGDOM

    Unsubscribe | Change Subscriber Options


  15. therealdanh says:

    I’m really sorry to hear that; but thanks for posting the news Chris. The craft lost a true artist.


  16. mjstauss says:

    Sad news, I’m very sorry for your loss. I am grateful to LAP for giving us The Intelligent Hand as part of David’s legacy.


  17. Peggy Schneider says:

    I’m sorry for the loss of your friend and mentor, Chris.


  18. John Hippe says:

    I am so sad to hear this news. I have been reading The Intelligent Hand which has been quite enlightening. Several times during the reading, I put the book down so I could go into my shop to try something that David wrote about in the book.


  19. Dave Parks says:

    One of my many fond memories about LAP was sitting in the shop with David next to me and shooting the sh__.It didn’t last long and I had been following his blog for several years. Tonight will be my last prayer for David. He was a giant.


  20. Scott Elmore says:

    I’m very sorry to hear of your friend’s passing. Mat you find comfort in your time of grief.


  21. southernwill says:

    I’ve just finished his book, so glad he was able to complete it before his demise. Only the earth endures.


  22. Kim Howarter says:

    Everyone has said what I was thinking, so I will add this: we need to remember all of the good times, experiences and things of the friends, mentors, and family members who we have lost. That is what keeps us going. I am enjoying reading David’s book!


  23. Pascal Teste says:

    My sincere condolences for the loss of your friend.


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