Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Arts & Crafts Companion

A Book by Pamela Todd

My wife gave me this book as a birthday present a couple of weeks ago and I wanted to let you know about it. If you search Amazon for books on Arts and Crafts then you'd better start building yourself a new library! There are hundreds of books published on the style but this one really stands out from the bunch. It's a beautiful book and while most of you 'manly' woodworkers out there may walk past it on a book shelf, perhaps because of its pretty pink cover, I assure you it's a great reference to the style. Pamela Todd gives a wonderful history lesson of the movement and follows it through from one side of the Atlantic to the other. She introduces all of the key players from William Morris and Edwin Lutyens to Frank Lloyd Wright and 'the brothers' Greene. What I really enjoyed about this book is the fact that it's not only a great furniture resource but displays other mediums such as architecture, textiles, applied arts, lighting, tiles and ceramics, glass and pottery, metalwork, embroidery, and even the garden.
As someone who enjoys designing and building furniture, it's hard not to admire and be drawn to this body of work. I find it creeping into my pieces more and more and welcome the breathe it adds to design. I'm working on a couple of pieces I'm going to make over the winter and have consciously added some of these elements. If you're a fan of the craft then you may want to pick this one up.

"What business have we with art at all, if we all cannot share it?"
William Morris

The Day the Music Died....

I'm out of CD's !!

If you've already pre-ordered your copy of Made by Hand: Furniture Projects from the Unplugged Woodshop then with your pre-order you'll be getting a free copy of my last CD, Beyond Before. I recorded the CD the year before my son, Nelson was born. He's five now and having a child quickly changed my 'musical career' and I stopped touring and playing gigs and with that stopped promoting and selling copies of my CD. So as it goes I was left with a couple of boxes sitting in my basement collecting dust. When it was time to start the pre-orders for the book I decided it would be a great way to say thanks to everyone that ordered a copy from me directly and giving them a free copy. Well the response to my book has been quite overwhelming and needless to say I'm all out of CD's. 133 pre-orders! That's much more than I ever anticipated. I'm really thankful to everyone who has already ordered and for anyone still thinking about getting a copy ? I'm going to make a couple of 'custom book boxes' and anyone who pre-orders a book from this point until the release will have a chance to get a nice little wooden box. I'm not sure how much time I'll have to make them so I'm thinking for every 10 pre-orders I'll put those ten names in a hat and draw a winner. I think that would be pretty fair. I'll cover the extra shipping charges for the box so nothing will change as far as expense for the buyer. So again I'll say a big thank you to everyone who's helped me out over the past month, I'm flattered and excited to get your books in the mail...still expecting my shipment in early November.
Happy shavings!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mixing traditional Skills with Modern Design

A Wall Shelf

I built this wall shelf a couple of years ago using hand cut dovetails and solid Mahogany. The drawer is Flame Birch and made using half blind dovetail joinery incorporating side runners to give the appearance of it 'floating'.It was a fun little project to make and will help you hone your dovetailing skills. If you'd like to learn the details on how I built it as well as a complete cut list and specs, you can pick up the next copy of Canadian Woodworking Magazine (Dec/Jan 2010, issue #63) It's one of the featured articles.

Speaking of woodworking magazines, if you'd like to see a nice little slide show of Made by Hand: Furniture Projects from the Unplugged Woodshop, Popular Woodworking has just uploaded one here: