The Anarchists Design Book by Christopher SchwarzSchwarz wants you to build your own furniture using traditional forms and tools. Most of the designs are folk designs dating back to the middle ages or earlier. In his opinion, why copy the furniture of your boss or the bosss boss? Some of these are one of a kind projects that almost no one has written about before, theres a lot of original material here. Its not another Shaker or Arts and Crafts book.
Tools can be fairly minimal, sometimes the author gets a bit crazy about using the best tools, but a small number of them. Construction is staked or boarded(nailed) for the most part. Finishes are milk paint, soap! shellac and oil. Paste on published teasers from the book Ive already built a couple of small boarded chests, the only special tool is you need a way to cut rabbets, I used a plane but various power tools will work.
These are boarded chests.
Its an obscure title from a small company, more info here:
Another book along these lines with designs somewhat more mainstream: Furniture Making Plain & Simple.
Hopefully will do some chairs from this book soon. I did reread the first half on staked furniture in preparation for some attempts at chair and stool construction.
P.S. I finally have the physical book and the binding and paper are first rate, though a cheapy perfectbound book would make me just as happy.
Some comments on The Anarchist’s Design Book
Also, I should note this review is of the Electronic version. I wish more publishers gave me the electronic version with the printed version, then I could have it both ways with a easily portable library at my finger tips, and a book case full of wonderfully tactile tomes. Anyway, on to the review. This is not a dry textbook style book, but rather one full of personality and life. This may not appeal to people for sure, especially those who are already not fans of the Schwarz. The book is divided into two main sections, each tackling what the author considers somewhat lost arts see what I did there?
James, Interesting post and makes me want to read the book. It also makes me think you need to continue writing. If not in the blog, somewhere else where we can have access to it. Thanks, Doug! I hope you do It's a worthy book, and I think it might be a cool influence on all the work you've been doing. And, parts of it are more or less in line with Larssen's ideas about teaching students not just to make useful objects, but to teach them about proportion and beauty while they do.
This is a project book like no other because it eschews most of the values of style and standards of crafting we nowadays assume accompany fine woodworking. Christopher Schwarz is a very well known author and contributing editor to Popular Woodworking magazine who also authors a popular online blog. Furniture that has survived from the s on, Schwarz says, tended to be the well made kind that only the wealthy could afford, as opposed to everyday vernacular furniture that was made with function and affordability rather than fashion in mind. Vernacular furniture from s onwards is generally undocumented and undated and its makers are generally anonymous. Boarded furniture, made with nails includes tool chest, 6-board chest, bookshelf, an aumbry type of cabinet and finally a coffin, always a good place to end. After all that there are various appendices on useful and recommended tools, machines, hide glue, soap finishing and milk paint and more. It will make you want to make some of the things described and you will definitely find yourself appreciating the worlds of woodworking and furniture making from a very different perspective.
While everyone should have a Narayan to make them look this good, the piece is even better in real life.
does technology drive history the dilemma of technological determinism
In pursuit of a meaningful life.
The term vernacular furniture was bantered about in those early days and really peaked my interest and excitement. Furniture built by common folk to fulfill their particular needs. No status symbol pieces or exotic this or that, just functional pieces from basic materials with a folk art effect towards beauty. Early hints came from blog posts about the virtues of cut nails. Then came the six-board chest.
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The Anarchist's Design Book No reviews yet - add a review. Free returns for six months. Learn more. Each pattern is a thorough example of how to design logically and naturally, with the goal of creating functional, attractive objects that last for generations. Schwarz outlines all steps of his process, from prototyping to workshop techniques, always with sustainable practices and human ergonomics in mind. The resulting style falls somewhere between vernacular craft and simple modernism, a middle ground that encourages woodworkers of all skill levels to take on design challenges of their own. Though it is a much less provocative designation, we'd say the Design Book has more populist leanings than anarchist, rejecting the gilded for the stout, the Chippendale for the work table, and putting the design back in the hands in the user.