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The Arts & Crafts Companion

October 22, 2009

My wife gave me this book as a birthday present a couple of weeks ago and I wanted to let you know about it. If you search Amazon for books on Arts and Crafts then you’d better start building yourself a new library! There are hundreds of books published on the style but this one really stands out from the bunch. It’s a beautiful book and while most of you ‘manly’ woodworkers out there may walk past it on a book shelf, perhaps because of its pretty pink cover, I assure you it’s a great reference to the style. Pamela Todd gives a wonderful history lesson of the movement and follows it through from one side of the Atlantic to the other. She introduces all of the key players from William Morris and Edwin Lutyens to Frank Lloyd Wright and ‘the brothers’ Greene. What I really enjoyed about this book is the fact that it’s not only a great furniture resource but displays other mediums such as architecture, textiles, applied arts, lighting, tiles and ceramics, glass and pottery, metalwork, embroidery, and even the garden.
As someone who enjoys designing and building furniture, it’s hard not to admire and be drawn to this body of work. I find it creeping into my pieces more and more and welcome the breathe it adds to design. I’m working on a couple of pieces I’m going to make over the winter and have consciously added some of these elements. If you’re a fan of the craft then you may want to pick this one up.

“What business have we with art at all, if we all cannot share it?”
William Morris

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