It might seem a bit out of character for Lost Art Press to publish “The Difference Makers” by Marc Adams. Unlike many of our titles, this book is filled with furniture that scratches at the stratosphere. These are pieces that you would see in a modern art museum or a gallery in Milan. And not the lineup of a publisher that wallows in the nitty gritty of historical handwork.
The way I see it, publishing “The Difference Makers” is just another way for us to challenge both ourselves and our readers.
And it begins with a confession: All too often I end up searching out furniture that looks somewhat like the furniture I now build. I focus on historical vernacular forms and their connection to 20th-century design. So the majority of the books in my library touch on those topics in one way or another.
It’s a lot like eating Southern food. Sure, you can survive on fried chicken, grits and collard greens for the rest of your days. But wouldn’t it be sad if you never had your mind blown by Ethiopian food?
No matter what sort of furniture you build, “The Difference Makers” is designed to shock your palate. It might be the negative space of Binh Pho, the textures created by Michael Hosaluk, the astonishing realism of Julie Bender or the visual trickery employed by Silas Kopf. You might not like all of it. But it will challenge you as a designer and builder. As we spent the last year editing this book I kept looking at the photos, wondering, “How was that built? And what possessed them? (In a good way).”
And that’s where the text of the book comes in. Marc knows all of these makers personally. They have taught for him at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking. He’s watched these people work – sometimes over decades – and grow. These 30 people are the best who have passed through his school’s giant garage doors.
To package up all this beautiful work, we decided to challenge ourselves on the manufacturing and printing size. We wanted to create the most beautiful largest-format book possible without cracking the $100 mark. This took a bit of math – finding a paper with a roll size that would produce a minimum of waste and a maximum amount of surface for ink. We also wanted to push the boundaries on the paper. This book is made with a heavy and bright paper we’ve never used (or thought we could afford).
Then we added our normal high-quality binding, which we haven’t been able to improve on.
Why So Quiet?
We know that some of you might have been surprised to see the announcement of “The Difference Makers” with very little run-up to the launch. This was due to some chaos at our printing plant (three words: private equity takeover). As a result, we’ve been done with this book on our end for months but it wasn’t certain until late last week when it would go on press. And then we got the news: It would be shipped in mid-July.
We’ll be talking more about the book in the coming weeks. We’re all very excited to see it, and I know you’ll like it. We’ll release an excerpt in the coming weeks, but until then, take a look at these two short features from the book. One on Frank Pollaro and the other on David Franklin.
Neither is someone whose work I would have followed or enjoyed until I read “The Difference Makers.” But now, wow.
— Christopher Schwarz