Category Archives: By Hand & Eye

Cracking the Coffer Code

English oak coffer; 16th century.  (Image from Wiki Commons, public domain.) The once ubiquitous coffer (from the Greek “kophinos” – a basket; later from the French “coffre” –  a chest) was also referred to as a “strong box” – because … Continue reading

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Designing with Ornament

This is an excerpt from “By Hand and Eye” by Geo. R. Walker and Jim Tolpin.  “[Architectural ornamentation] liberates us from the tyranny of the useful and satisfies our need for harmony.” — Roger Scruton Traditionally, ornament and mouldings were employed to punctuate and emphasize a form. … Continue reading

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The Hand, the Hound or the Truth?

Editor’s note: Sorry, this post is not about “Game of Thrones.” George and I often get asked which book should be read first, and we don’t have a quick answer. Because our research has been a quest, we didn’t write … Continue reading

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Meet the Author: George Walker

The first magazine article George Walker ever published appeared in Astronomy Magazine. At the time, he was working a lot of hours as the midnight shift supervisor at The Timken Company, a Canton, Ohio, factory that engineers and manufactures bearings … Continue reading

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Classic Orders – An Exercise

This is an excerpt from “By Hand and Eye”  by Geo. R. Walker and Jim Tolpin.  The lifeblood of craft has always depended on knowledge passing from one generation to the next, and I struggle finding words to convey the importance … Continue reading

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Meet the Author: Jim Tolpin

In early March 2017, Jim Tolpin woke up in the middle of the night with a revelation: He finally understood where trigonometry comes from. “I was actually just working on that when you called,” he says. “And I actually think … Continue reading

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Does This Entasis Make me Look Fat?

Well no, dear, the curvaceous tapering just makes you look muscular. Or maybe it’s just an optical illusion. Or maybe the builders knew that the swelling, though slight, imparted a bit more strength to the column. But let’s not get … Continue reading

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