Country Woodcraft: Then & Now

In 1978, I had never even been to the country. I was born & raised in the suburbs. When I was little, we had to come in when the streetlights came on…so what was I doing reading a book called “Country Woodcraft” by Drew Langsner? Unknowingly, I was re-directing my just-dropped-out-of-art-school life.

then on the left, now on the right

Drew’s updated version of this book is now available through Lost Art Press, and what a brilliant move to update it rather than just reprint it. Now we get the culmination of 40 years’ worth of workshops held at Drew & Louise’s Country Workshops. I wrote a bit of an introduction to go with this book and in it I mentioned how often you’d hear the words “life-changing” regarding students’ reactions to their experiences there. Fits me to a tee. I’ve written many times over the years about my experiences there; and the impact Drew & Louise have had on my life and career. The book was the seed of that, along with Jennie Alexander’s Make a Chair from a Tree (the 3rd edition of which is in the works at LAP, don’t worry.) 

spoon carving

First off, the new one won’t fall apart – I have 2 broken paperbacks of the 1978 book. For the spoon-crazies – this is where America first heard of Wille Sundqvist and carving spoons with axes and knives. 9 pages in the old book, 43 pages now, something like that. Similar story with the “half-log bowls” as they are called in the new edition. And on & on – I’ve just got it this week, and am looking forward to reading both the old and new parts again & again. 

bowl carving

And my connection to Drew & Louise is only part of this heap-o’-praise. I’m completely biased, having worked with Lost Art Press now for quite a few years. They have done their usual great job – read Chris’ blurb about the book, including how LAP & Drew both agreed to keep the price of the book accessible for beginners & students – did you ever hear a publisher/author say that? Get it here

title page

7 thoughts on “Country Woodcraft: Then & Now

  1. Thanks for the memory. My father had this book when I was a child growing up in Tennessee. We watched The Woodwright’s Shop on PBS religiously on a 4″ black and white battery powered TV. I ordered a copy of the newly revised edition.

    I appreciate your blog posts and videos. Stay safe and keep up the excellent work.


  2. Ordered the new edition last week. This and Watson’s Hand Tools were the first woodworking books I bought and are still my favorites decades later. Glad to see the physical format was kept the same also.

  3. I just got my copy and I’m looking forward to Make a Chair From a Tree to go with Make a Joint Chair From a Tree.

  4. Hi Peter!

    Thanks for the reminder about this great book…my new copy should be showing up soon, I think! I, too, have the original edition, and love it every time I pull it out. Can’t wait to see the new, expanded version….so many projects, so little time!

    All the best,

  5. The first book was the begining of many years of spoons, bowls, chairs, and many forks. I am enjoying the new book. I have the photo albumn of many years of work. I regret I never traveled the hour drive to meet Drew. I hope the new book starts some new interest in the craft.

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