We have two projects to share with you today: a new poster and a giveaway related to the new expanded edition of “The Anarchist’s Design Book.”
The Edwin Skull Chair Poster
Next week we will begin selling a limited-edition poster that is a reproduction of a 19th-century broadsheet showing the chairs made by the Edwin Skull chair manufactory in High Wycombe.
The color image features 141 of the chairs offered by the firm, including the “Skull’s Patent Plectaneum Chair,” a famous folding chair. The Skull firm traces its roots back to Charles Skull (1780–1851), who was a chair japanner in High Wycombe. Two of his sons, Edwin and Walter, started making chairs and became known for making high-quality goods. About 1865, the firm issued this broadsheet to show the wide range of chairs the company made and the awards it had received.
The firm survived into the 1930s but was acquired by rival Furniture Industries Ltd. in 1932. Furniture Industries is now called ercol and operates in the High Wycombe area. As a nod to its heritage, the chairmaking department at ercol is still referred to as “Skulls.”
The Skulls broadsheet has been published in a couple books by Ivan G. Sparkes, including “The English Country Chair” (Spurbooks), but the images were so small that it was difficult to study it in detail.
Where, I wondered, was the original? And could we obtain a copy of it?
Enter our researcher, Suzanne Ellison, who tracked down the original at the Wycombe Museum. After some negotiations, the museum agreed to produce a high-resolution image of the broadsheet that we could use for a limited-edition poster of 500 units.
In exchange for this, we helped pay for the new digital image and will donate a portion of the proceeds of poster sales directly to the Wycombe Museum.
Our Edwin Skulls poster is printed here in Cincinnati on heavy, #120 uncoated stock. The poster measures 13” x 19” and ships in a stiff cardboard tube. The price is $18, which includes domestic shipping. Look for it in our store next week. It also will be available through Classic Hand Tools in the U.K.
Giveaway: Original Letterpress Prints from ‘The Anarchist’s Design Book’
Today I sent the expanded edition of “The Anarchist’s Design Book” to the printer. The new edition is 200 pages longer than the original and features six new projects and additional chapters on chair design and other anarchist-y stuff.
We’ll offer the book up for pre-publication orders next week, and we will have instructions on how to download the new chapters if you purchased the first edition.
To create the expanded edition, Briony Morrow-Cribbs created six new plates for the book, which we have printed via letterpress on heavy #118 Flurry Cotton paper, which is made with wind and hydro power.
We considered selling these prints, but we thought about it for a few minutes and said: Nah, let’s just give them away.
If you would like to win a free set of the six letterpress prints of the new projects for “The Anarchist’s Design Book,” here’s how to throw your hat in the ring to get them.
Take a photo of one of the projects you have built from “The Anarchist’s Design Book” and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please read this next sentence carefully: You also need to send us your real name, your physical mailing address and a phone number. If your entry doesn’t have these things (including a photo), we’re going to discard it. We need this information to send you the prints if you are selected. You entry must be received by midnight Eastern time on Dec. 20, 2019.
We aren’t using your information for marketing or spam. It will be deleted when the contest is over.
I think we have eight sets of these prints to give away. The winners will be chosen at random. Everyone is eligible, even overseas. Here are the six prints in a set:
I know that people will gripe about having to send a photo. And they will gripe that they can’t simply buy them. Sorry. The point of the book was to encourage people to build stuff – not buy it. Entries will be accepted by email only. Complaints about the process will be discarded.
— Christopher Schwarz