A Cabinetmaker's Bookshelf

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Philosophy of Craft

A Cabinetmaker's Notebook; James Krenov;
Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. 1991;
A why to, rather than how to, discussion of craft and furniture making. One of the landmark books in the history of 20th century craft.

The Fine Art of Cabinetmaking; James Krenov;
Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. 1992.
A book of more than just techniques, this explains some of the underlying subtleties involved in cabinetmaking.

The Impractical Cabinetmaker; James Krenov;
Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. 1993.
A continuation of Fine Art, that takes you through the entire process of designing and building several fine pieces from start to finish.

Worker in Wood; James Krenov;
Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. 1997.
With many pictures and descriptions of Jim's cabinets, this book highlights the details that make fine furniture fine.

The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into Beauty;
Soetsu Yanagi, Adapted by Bernard Leach; Kodansha International, 1989.
A selection of writings by the father of the modern Japanese craft movement.

The Nature and Art of Workmanship; David Pye;
Cambium Press, 1995.
An investigation into the essentials of refined hand work.

History of Furniture

Home: A Short History of an Idea;
Witold Rybczynski; Penguin Books, 1986.
Domestic comfort through the ages.

Furniture: A Concise History;
Edward Lucie-Smith; Thames and Hudson Ltd. 1979.
A discussion of influences affecting Western furniture styles from ancient Egypt to the mid '70's.

Classic Chinese Furniture: Ming and Early Qing Dynasties;
Wang Shixiang; Art Media Resources, Ltd. 1991.
A beautiful and scholarly book with examples of chinese furniture at its most restrained and its most flamboyant.

American Furniture of the 18th Century; Jeffrey P. Greene;
The Taunton Press, Inc. 1996.
Covers the development of design and construction techniques with details from 24 examples of furniture.

An Encyclopedia of Desks; Mark Bridge;
Quintet Publishing Ltd. 1988.
Writing desks through four centuries.

The Book of Shaker Furniture; John Kassay;
University of Massachusetts Press, 1980.
Thoroughly researched presentation of 21 types of furniture with over 250 photographs and 70 measured drawings.

Shaker Design; June Sprigg;
Whitney Musuem of American Art, 1986.
Color photographs from an exhibition of Shaker furniture, utility items and clothing with commentary on work sensitively done by people who believed that all work required full attention.

American Furniture; Edited by Luke Beckerdite,
Chipstone Foundation, Annually.
An scholarly annual which focuses on furniture in its historical context.

William Morris; Helen Dore;
Chartwell Books, Inc. 1990.
A look at the enormous achievements of the decorative artist (and dare we say it?) socialist who believed that designer "should never design anything that he could not produce with his own hands."

The Fine Art of the Furniture Maker; Edited by Patricia Bayer;
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1981.
Wendell Castle and Penelope Hunter-Stiebel, one of the curators of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, discuss selected works from the museum's collection.

Twentieth Century Furniture

Arts and Crafts Style; Isabelle Anscombe;
Rizzoli International Publications, Inc. 1991.
Traces the infuences on major particpants of a previous revolt against corportate mechanization, beautifully illustrated with photographs of examples of furniture, textiles, metalwork, and print.

Edward Barnsley and his Workshop; Annette Carruthers;
White Cockade Publishings, 1992.
Barnsley was, perhaps, the greatest British furniture designer of this century, amazingly prolific and wonderfully tasteful.

Edward Barnsley: 60 Years of Furniture Design and Cabinet Making
Edward Barnsely Educational Trust,1982.
A catalogue published in conjuction with a 1982 exhibit of his work. Captioned " A Selection from the 7000 Pieces Designed and Produced between 1919 and 1981 of Which at Least 1500 were Unique."

Good Citizens Furniture; Carruthers/Cheltenham;
Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museums, 1990.
A wonderful little Catalogue of this museum's collection of English Arts and Crafts furniture.

American Arts and Crafts: Virtue in Design; Leslie Greene Bowman;
Los Angeles County Meusem of Art, 1990.
A Catalogue of the Palevsky/Evans Collection and Related Works at the Los Angeles County Musuem of Art.

Greene and Greene: Furniture and Related Designs; Randell L. Makinson;
Peregrine Smith, Inc. 1979.
A glimpse at the work of the most elegant of American practicioners of the Arts and Crafts Style.

Ruhlmann: Master of Art Deco; Florence Camard;
Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 1984.
A glorious book about one of the greatest furniture designers of this, or any, century.

The Wharton Esherick Musuem Studio and Collection;
The Wharton Esherick Musuem, 1977.
Esherick was the grandfather of the American Studio furniture movement.

20th Century Furniture Design; Sembach, Leuthäuser, Gössel;
Taschen, 1991.
A look at influential designers from a European prospective.

Contemporary Classics: Furniture of the Masters; Gandy/Zimmerman-Stidham;
Watson-Guptill Publications; 1990.
Industrial Design masterpieces (mostly chairs) from Mies, Le Corbusier, et al.

Contemporary Furniture

Contempory American Woodworkers; Michael A. Stone;
Gibbs Smith, Inc. 1986.
Philosophies and methods of ten influential woodworkers: Esherick, Nakashima, Stocksdale, Frid, Maloof, Carpenter, Krenov, Castle, Bennett, and Osgood.

New American Furniture; The Second Generation of Studio Furniture Makers; Edward S. Cooke, Jr.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1989.
The catalogue from an exhibition of furniture makers who were each commissioned to design a piece of furniture based on an existing piece in the museum's collection.

Furniture by Wendell Castle; Taragin, Cooke, Giovanni;
Founders Society, Detroit Institute of Arts, 1989.
A thoughtful book about one of the most influential and tirelessly creative furniture makers in the world today.

Martin Puryear; Neal Benezra;
Art Institute of Chicago, 1991.
A monograph about this sculptor who went to Stockholm to study with Jim for a bit in the early 70s.

Art for Everyday: The New Craft Movement; Patricia Conway;
Clarkson N. Potter, Inc. 1990.
Written by an interior decorator, this coffee table book has a lot of pictures of beautiful handmade furniture in private homes and business settings.

Sam Maloof: Woodworker; Sam Maloof;
Kodansha International Ltd. 1983.
The only furniutre maker to ever win a MacArthur genius award, and, by all accounts, a wonderful man.


Encylopedia of Furniture Making; Ernest Joyce and Alan Peters;
Sterling Publishing, Co., Inc. 1987.
A broad and complete coverage of proven constuction techniques

The Wood Users Guide; Pamela Wellner and Eugene Dickey;
Rainforest Action Network, 1991.
A guide to lesser known species of wood and to the politics of forestry.

Understanding Wood Finishing; Bob Flexner;
Rodale Press, 1994.
An accessable treatment of a complex topic.

Artistry in Chip Carving: A Lyrical Style; Craig Vandall Stevens;
Schiffer Publishing Ltd. 1996.
Craig is a graduate of the school and one of the preeminent chip carvers in the country who came up with the radical notion that chip carvings need not only be rosettes.

Chip Carving Nature An Artistic Approach; Craig Vandall Stevens;
Schiffer Publishing Ltd. 1996.
An elaboration on his first book. Very useful for anyone who wishes to include surface decoration into their work.

The Art of Marquetry; Craig Vandall Stevens;
Schiffer Publishing Ltd. 1997.
A well thought out book about the subleties of 'painting' with veneers.