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Furniture Book

In the Craftsman Style: Building Furniture Inspired by the Arts & Crafts Tradition by Fine Woodworking (Editor), Tim Schreiner (Introduction) In the Craftsman Style: Building Furniture Inspired by the Arts & Crafts Tradition
by Fine Woodworking (Editor), Tim Schreiner (Introduction)

Paperback: 176 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.49 x 10.89 x 8.54
Publisher: Taunton Pr; (February 14, 2001)
ISBN: 1561583987

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Book Description: The Arts and Crafts style is simple enough to look good in almost any home and works with many types of furniture. Encompassing the Craftsman, Mission, Greene and Greene, and Stickley styles, this book gives readers detailed instructions for creating Arts and Crafts pieces at all levels. Step-by-step photographs and illustrations walk them through the process of building a classic Arts and Crafts chair, bookcase, sideboard, blanket chest, clock, and mantel, among other pieces. Photos of finished pieces provide additional inspiration.

Customer Reviews
An Excellent Guide to Building Arts & Crafts Style Furniture, January 13, 2002
Reviewer: Vincent E. Vizachero from Houston, TX United States
This is the best introduction to building Arts & Crafts style furniture I have read.

I found it to contain an excellent balance of history, theory, project plans, and inspiration. The articles are well-written, accurate, and thorough. The photos and diagrams are crystal clear and colorful.

The first section (approx. 30 pages) introduces the Arts & Crafts style, highlights the schools of design and the designers (Morris, all the Stickleys, Greene and Greene, etc.), and showcases ways in which the Arts & Crafts heritage can be adapted for modern homes.

The second section (approx. 105 pages) contains diagrams and detailed instructions on the construction of 10 pieces of furniture, plus instructions on making Stickley-style legs and on fuming the pieces with ammonia).

The third section (approx. 20 pages) contains photos and descriptions of several Arts & Crafts-inspired pieces (though not detailed instructions on building them).

This third section seems to have upset other reviewers, either because they didn't like it or didn't expect it in this book. I found this section vitally important to the book's stated goal, which is to help the reader apply to the Arts & Crafts style to designing and building her own furniture.

In my opinion, the difference between successful Arts & Crafts furniture and cheap knock-offs lies in the subtleties of design, proportion, and details. The discussions contained in the third section of this book focus precisely on these elements, walking the reader through the often lengthy decision-making process of the furniture designer. The importance of careful attention to line, function and form are emphasized here. I might not have purchased to book just to get this section, but excluding it (or not reading it) would be a shame.

Overall, I recommend this book to anyone interested in buying or (especially) designing and building Arts & Crafts style furniture.

Excellent book, March 20, 2001
Reviewer: Wayne Cease from Atlanta, GA USA
This book covers the design elements and construction of Arts & Crafts/Craftsman styled furniture, including the design element differences between Stickley, Greene & Greene, etc. It also lightly covers the history.

There are several plans, unfortunately not the one on the cover. And chairs are not something that plans can easily be drawn, even when overall dimensions are given. It doesn't take much to make a chair uncomfortable.

Some more plans covering the gallery items, especially the cover item, would have been nice. But, overall it is a really good book.

What it is & isn't, February 12, 2001
Reviewer: steveindavis from Davis, CA United States
I'm new to woodworking, so am not qualified to review this book with a woodworker's eye. But I thought it was a good idea to describe what this book has and what it doesn't have, since there's the potential for some people to be misled by its cover and title.

This book is a collection of "arts & crafts furniture"-related articles from writers in Fine Woodworking. These articles are divided into three sections -- only one of which is a "project" section -- and two of which include topics such as design issues and appropriate woodworking techniques. The chapter on ammonia fuming, for example, is the most detailed I've seen in any similar book. Made me want to go out & fume something.

Also scattered throughout these three sections are many beautiful photos of finished pieces, many of which are contemporary, one-off adaptations of the arts & crafts movement. Influences include Gus Stickley, Greene & Greene, etc. The drawback for me is the lack of plans for most of the pieces pictured -- it's just not that kind of book.

The Morris chair on the cover, for example, is not part of the book's "project" section and you won't learn how to make one inside. I had been looking for project plans for this version of the Morris (Stickley's #369, I believe) and was a bit disappointed to find that this book has only some beautiful photos of this one as part of the ammonia discussion.

Experienced furniture makers should find the breadth of design in these pages quite inspiring, I think, and many will also find a wealth of good suggestions for technique. The editors' intent seems to be to arm the reader with a knowledge of techniques and examples of other craftsmen's work in this style, but not necessarily to provide a lot of projects (particularly "authentic" projects) to copy.

Those looking for step-by-step help through a gallery of accessible projects would do well to start elsewhere. This is more of a continuation of Fine Woodworking magazine -- it's written by designers/craftsmean, for designers/craftsmen.

I'm glad it's on my bookshelf; I just felt a little misled by its cover.

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