Category Archives: Historical Images

A 2,400-year-old Heart-shaped Box

The Ma’agan Mikhael, a 5th-century BCE Cypriot merchantman, was found off the coast of Israel in 1985. The wreck was an important find in learning more about ancient shipbuilding techniques and trade practices. After excavation and preservation the reconstructed hull was placed … Continue reading

Posted in Historical Images, Personal Favorites | 18 Comments

For Your Bookshelf: Peasant Art in Sweden, Lapland and Iceland

Do you need a dose of handmade and hand-decorated? Try “Peasant Art in Sweden, Lapland and Iceland” edited by Charles Holme and published in 1910. This gorgeous little book includes sections on textiles, metalwork, horn carving and a large section … Continue reading

Posted in Carving, For Your Library, Furniture Styles, Historical Images | 5 Comments

Two Short Stories: Renaissance Hijinks and a Nova Scotia Legend

If you are looking for some light reading to add to your digital book wheel I have two short stories for you featuring woodworkers. The first story, from 15th-century Italy, is “La novella del grasso legnajuolo” (The Story of the … Continue reading

Posted in For Your Library, Historical Images, Personal Favorites | 14 Comments

Raise Your Glass – It’s Jacob Arend Day!

Three hundred years ago today, Jacob Arend (1688-1744), a journeyman cabinetmaker in his brother’s workshop in Würzburg, wrote a letter and hid it in a magnificent Baroque writing cabinet. The letter was not placed in one of the secret drawers … Continue reading

Posted in Historical Images, Personal Favorites | 16 Comments

Abraham Carpenter, An Enterprising Cooper of Philadelphia

Almost 269 years ago Abraham Carpenter, a cooper, advertised his many services in rhyme. This might be the first advertising jingle in the Colonies. He had handsome (hansom) chairs and horses for hire at a time when the city had, … Continue reading

Posted in Historical Images | 13 Comments

Origin Stories: The “Palm” or Planing Stop

Lu Ban, born some time between 770 and the 5th century BC, is the divine protector of Chinese carpenters and artisans. He is credited with inventing the basic tool kit of the carpenter and the rules, measurements and rituals associated … Continue reading

Posted in Asian Woodworking, Historical Images, Workbenches | 21 Comments

Two Households and a Pair of Star-cross’d Tables

Two massive tables bookending the first half of the 16th century and that is where the similarities end. One has seen hard use and is scarred, the other is fun and frivolous. One mirrors the poor choices made by the … Continue reading

Posted in Historical Images | 12 Comments