For some inexplicable reason my mind sees a parallel between Japanese furniture craftsmanship of the past 1000 years or so and the work coming out of the Arts & Crafts Movement the flourished between 1870 and 1920 in Europe and the USA. Despite the fact that I know full well that they differ in many core esthetic principles. Perhaps it is the preference for simple, geometric lines and grace, or the emphasis on workmanship rather than decoration, or the desire to create beauty in the simplest of things. But there is a connection, and as someone who has become focused on redesigning a home, that connection is all that is needed.Paul Kemner and Peggy Zdila have written a book designs to satisfy both those interested in the Movement itself, and those who would just as soon be a-building. The first half of this beautifully made paperback discusses the influences of William Morris and Gustav Stickley, both as philosophers, designers, and craftsmen. Full of photographs of some fine representative pieces and quotes. From that point the discussion shifts to the means - tools, techniques, and materials. Last is some 25 projects, large and small, that are opportunities to discover what it is all about first hand.The writing style is patient and clear. Unfortunately, neither writer is the sort to spellbind a reader. While I found the discussion useful and worthwhile, Kemner and Zdila never quite breathe life into the more esoteric parts of the discussion. As another review has pointed out, the plans are well done, but one must read them thoroughly in order to avoid discovering too late that something got left out of the bill of materials. For the most part, though, all the information needed is present.A designer with a sense of humor once remarked that more people are interesting in movement Arts & Crafts since its revival than ever were during its heyday. I like to think that this has as much to do with the values expressed by the movement as much as it does with the satisfactions of its beauty. Whatever the reason, this is a fine volume to start up a lasting interest.
how good are you at reading text and plans?
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 20 years ago
If you're competent to read and follow instructions, I think you'll enjoy using this book! I don't think anyone should be using sharp tools if they can't follow instructions! I have successfully completed several projects in this book and read through the rest of them.On the bookcase plan that the previous reviewer was commenting about, it looks to me like the piece called Top Back got left off of the materials list. But it is clearly shown in the photos, and dimensions are given in the drawings. It is also mentioned in the text directions. I regard a materials list as a "shopping list." It is a guide, not a final check before I cut my wood! Also, I have another comment about a previous review. I know someone with an antique Stickley bookcase just like the one in the plan in this book. It's obvious it never had a partition between the 2 halves.Many woodworking books have errors, even the touted Bavarro and Mossman one has a serious problem with the grandfather clock plan. I like the way this one is written, though, and I'm looking forward to building more projects from Building Arts and Crafts Furniture, including that bookcase.
25 Plans? Not really!
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 24 years ago
There are not really 25 plans - more like 10 plans done with 2 or 3 variants. A good book but limited.
great for those that want to DO IT rather than just SEE IT
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 24 years ago
This is a great book that explains all a woodworker needs to know about constructing art & crafts or mission furniture....the plans included in the book are worth the purchase price as this book will take you through several popular projects....no need to buy others' plans...it's all right here with beautiful color photes and diagrams on construction....this should be the first book in the woodworkers' library for constructing mission furniture....the second being the popular mechanics "how to make mission furniture" (or similar title) so that you can see 100s of mission style examples/pieces....
Great plans and advice for 19 varied skill-level projects
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 25 years ago
A great how-to book on building the very popular Arts and Crafts furniture of the early 20th century using standard woodshop power tools. Step by step projects are graded by challenge. Kemner suggests beginning on the easier pieces to "perfect your skill at hand-cutting mortises with a chisel". There is some background history of the "mission" movement, full color photographs of completed projects, full color photos of rare original Arts and Crafts items, line drawings of projects and sensible advice for the craftsperson. So far I have completed two of the nineteen projects, all solidly influenced by the Mission/Gustav Stickley tradition, and they look great! The book is made to use in the shop as the book cover flaps act as bookmarkers and page holders. A requirement for the weekend woodworker, the seasoned craftsperson or the armchair admirer of the Arts and Crafts Movement.
ThriftBooks sells millions of used books at the lowest everyday prices. We personally assess every book's quality and offer rare, out-of-print treasures. We deliver the joy of reading in recyclable packaging with free standard shipping on US orders over $15. ThriftBooks.com. Read more. Spend less.