This week has been quite a ride. I try to refrain from commenting on the seasons, the weather or current events on this blog because it’s about woodworking. But the last week has been one for the books.
Last week I ran a class on an American Welsh Stick Chair with students from all over – Toronto, Iowa, Texas, Michigan. As the week wore on, the news got darker about the health crisis, and everyone seemed on edge. While everyone kept a cheery veneer, it was unsettling when we all went out to dinner at empty restaurants.
Then two boxes arrived at the front door. Inside were the first copies of “Good Work: The Chairmaking Life of John Brown” by Christopher Williams. The book could not have come at a better time for my head. This book is the culmination of four years of heavy lifting on the part of Chris Williams, many members of John Brown’s family and all of us at Lost Art Press.
Publishing any book has ups and downs. This one vacillated between the stratosphere and the earth’s mantle at times. But flipping through the finished product – the physical, good-smelling thing that it is – brought me a little peace and joy. So many people – especially Chris Williams – gave so much to bring this book to life. That fact gave me hope that we will all make it through this dark time together.
I’ve been looking through “Good Work” during the last few evenings, enjoying the different points of view and the many, many beautiful photos of chairs. That’s a rare thing for me; usually I am a bit sick of a book by the time it gets to the printer.
Maybe this book is a special one. Or maybe I’m trying to enjoy it as best I can before I have to take it apart for toilet paper.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. “Good Work” has already begun to ship from our warehouse. If you placed a pre-publication order, it should arrive in the next week or so.