By Walt Harrington
“This choice of profiles approximately nice American craftsmen is itself the handiwork of a superb American craftsman.” --David Grogan, This outdated condo journal.
For Acts of production, award-winning journalist Walt Harrington travels the USA looking for the mystical nexus of craft, expertise, and mastery that offers start to a practical paintings of art—and leaves its maker with a feeling of delight and fulfillment recognized good to advantageous craftsmen around the a long time.
A builder of huge fireplaces in Maine. a cupboard maker in Maryland. A millwright in Virginia. A locksmith and a home framer in Ohio. A hardwood flooring guy in Indiana. A blacksmith in Illinois. A stone carver in California. none of the fourteen craftsmen and lady profiled believes he's operating in simple terms to construct a home, to renovate a watermill, to solid a plaster medallion. every one imbues his paintings with grander purpose—Michael Seward desires the folk who purchase his furnishings to event an emotional connection; Chuck Crispin desires his clients’ lives to be evoked in his flooring designs; Charles Keller wishes the hugely proficient international to understand the complex genius of not just nice blacksmithing yet all high-quality craftsmen.
The profiles in Acts of production aid to reclaim where of expertise in a consumerist period that locations larger worth on revenue and branding than it does on committed excellence. those craftsmen supply not just classes approximately craftsmanship, but in addition approximately existence.
“Acts of construction is a stunning choice of literary journalism, written by means of a grasp of the shape. Walt Harrington’s gracefully nuanced prose, filled with feeling and finely saw aspect, splendidly conveys the realm of craftsmen in all its crafty integrity. within the grand culture of Tracy Kidder, John McPhee and Joseph Mitchell, Harrington deals us a desirable and enduring homage to males at work.” --Barry Siegel, Pulitzer Prize winner, director of the Literary Journalism application, college of California, Irvine
“Acts of production is an instance of what occurs while a top-notch author, laboring in solitude with purity of objective, places the suitable phrases within the correct order.” --Madeleine Blais, Pulitzer Prize winner, writer of Uphill Walkers: Portrait of a kinfolk
“A compelling tribute to americans who paintings with their arms -- and hearts.” --Pete Earley, writer, loopy: A Father’s seek via America’s psychological healthiness insanity.
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Extra info for Acts of Creation: America's Finest Hand Craftsmen at Work
These exposed dowels, in all probability, came about because Charles and Henry at that time were still under the influence of Gustav Stickley, who had exposed the dowels in some of his designs. Stickley's dowels were flush with the surface, but Greene & Greene dowels were typically proud by 114 to 112 inch, and the ends were rounded over smooth. They were primarily used to pin tenons, but could have various other functions (100), always with a practical purpose as the basic justification for their existence.
32. 1. This is a detail from the frieze near the ceiling. 33. It is commonly believed that Charles carved the Fleishhacker chairs, but given the complexity oftheir construction it is most likely that John Hall was the one who actually built them. 33 34 Greene & Greene: Design Elements for the Workshop Much of the furniture Charles designed in his later career was rich with carvings which he did himself. The Mortimer Fleishhacker residence in Woodside, Cali fornia, or Green Gables as it was called, was the largest of the Greene & Greene commissions.
Frequenrly rhis is achieved by rapering rhe leg as ir nears rhe floor, rhen rhe very borrom of rhe leg will gain mass again, cre aring a visual anchor ro rhe design as a whole. Mosr of rhe classic furnirure makers had rheir own devices for rhis, and examples can be seen as far back as ancienr Egypr. Probably rhe besr-known use of rhis mech anism is rhe claw and ball foor , which was used exrensively by Thomas Chippendale. In rhe Blacker House, Charles was appar enrly experimenring wirh rwo differenr ways ro rrear rhe lower leg.