Clean-up time at JA’s

a sea of chairs

Well, that was quite a trip. I usually take pictures when I travel, but this past weekend I was far too busy to get near the camera much. A group of us descended on Jennie Alexander’s home & shop to begin sifting and sorting the shop/woodworking-related books, papers, and what-have-you.  For me the absolute highlight of the whole weekend was a spontaneous 20-minute examination of about 25 chairs, maybe more. Me, Geli Courpas, the first “apprentice”, Nathaniel Krause, the last-apprentice and Bob Trent. “Which one’s older? Which one’s turned, versus shaved?” And more.

Geli Courpas, Nathaniel Krause & PF

JA & I sold off many of the “extra” tools many years ago. That’s a good thing, because there were so many books, magazines and papers it isn’t funny. But there still were a few tools to gather, then disseminate.

a few tools left

Trent did an amazing job sorting the stacks. Many of the notebooks, including the correspondence between JA & me, were donated to the research library at Winterthur Museum a while back. But there’s lots of stuff still there. I haven’t read the older notebooks, but I plan to next time I’m at Winterthur, Trent says they go back to 1973, five years before the book Make a Chair from a Tree.

I brought home lots of books, maybe 5 or 6 boxes. Many are ones I’ve known all these years. I spent lots of time in that study. Some are to keep, some are to sell here. I’m going to start right in. That hadn’t been my intention, but I have no place to store all of these, so the sooner I move half of them the better. We’ll do it like we did the tools, or the way I usually sell spoons, etc. I’ll post them here, you leave a comment of what you want, then we can make a transaction through paypal, or you send a check. International shipping is extra.

so – books for sale tomorrow night. Some of Alexander’s book, some oak furniture books, some tool history books. I’m going to do one box at a time. If you are interested, watch for tomorrow’s blog post.


6 thoughts on “Clean-up time at JA’s

  1. It is a tough thing cleaning out a friends work space after they have passed, It is almost like they are their with you. She is lucky to have had good friends like you to help clean in times like this, especially when her pile of research was so large. Sorry for your loss Peter! I have still not had the pleasure of seeing or reading her book. It is almost impossible to find here in NJ, If you come across any copies and would put it aside I would gladly buy one, maybe two and donate one to my local library. Thx again keep up good work!

    • Thanks, Todd – I appreciate your note. There are copies of the chair book coming up, but I can’t put any aside. To give everyone a fair shake, it’s first-come, first-served sort of a thing. Tonight, Thursday Aug 23. sorry,

  2. Mr. Peter, I am part of a similar situation recently, a very Talented wood turner by the name of Alan Dorr recently passed, an impromptu group of fellow woodworking folk acquired his shop and the process is underway. I’ll try and get in on the buy list for JA, but fear I’ll miss out, so if the books could be shown with titles I can seek them out over time. Hopefully this request coincides with what you’ve already done and causes no more work on your end.
    Thanks in advance.

  3. Not a problem I understand and actually appreciate it, I think that sounds very fair. I will keep my eye out for them tonight. Thanks again.

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