Only a little bit of shop time these days. Two five-year olds and Christmas tend to keep someone pretty busy…
Last week when I was at Lie-Nielsen’s Open House, I spent some time with folks I had only met electronically previously; Tico Vogt http://www.ticovogt.com/?cat=3 and Raney Nelson http://www.daedtoolworks.com/blog/. While talking with them, I mentioned the journal American Furniture; which somehow I have nevered discussed in detail here on the blog. then I saw that Adam Cherubini mentioned it in the comments on his recent post about woodworking magazines http://blogs.popularwoodworking.com/blog3/2010/12/19/PWAtHomeDepot.aspx (not that it’s a woodworking magazine; but Adam wandered a bit… and no, now is not the time for me to discuss Fine Woodworking Magazine)
It often seems to me that many woodworkers/furnituremakers either don’t know this journal or they think it’s not for them. It’s sometimes seen as aimed at museum/curator/antiques collectors/dealers – but woodworkers studying furniture made prior to industrial revolution will get a ton of information and inspiration from it. If you are inclined towards “period” furniture, (whatever that is) it’s a fabulous reference to have. American Furniture comes out once a year, costs somewhere between $45 to $60 (based on what I saw on the web tonight). It’s produced by the Chipstone Foundation in Milwaukee, WI. – first issue was 1993.
The production is first-rate; high quality work throughout. The photos are mostly the work of Gavin Ashworth, http://www.gavinashworth.com/and often the pieces are presented in detail, including construction details, decorative aspects, etc. Comparisons between related pieces are frequently shown. There are usually between 5-10 articles in each issue, a number of detailed book reviews and a long bibliography of works on furniture studies.
While some issues are presented on Chipstone’s website, http://www.chipstone.org/framesetsiteindexp.html I always recommend getting the printed version. There are photos that only appear in print, Chipstone doesn’t have permission to post some of it online. It usually comes out in the early winter for the previous year, thus the 2010 issue is about a month or so away. That one has an article I worked on with Bob Trent on Boston chests of drawers. Chipstone also does the journal Ceramics in America, same execution, just pots, not furniture.
I’ve really cut way back on book buying over the past two years, but there are two that I make sure I get every year, American Furniture is one, the journal Regional Furniture (from England) is the 0ther. I’ll give you the lowdown on that maybe next week.
Now, how about another annual occurence, a photo from me of a heron in the snowy Jones River in December.