By Michael Owen Jones
Why do humans reflect on aesthetic traits in addition to utilitarian ones within the making of daily gadgets? Why do they keep traditions? what's the nature in their artistic method? those are a few of the better questions addressed by way of Michael Owen Jones in his booklet on craftsmen within the Cumberland Mountains of japanese Kentucky. focusing on the paintings of 1 guy, woodworker and chairmaker Chester Cornett, Jones not just describes the instruments and methods hired by means of Cornett but in addition his aspirations and values. Cornett possessed a deep wisdom of his fabrics and a mastery of building equipment. a few of his chairs signify no longer gadgets of application yet aesthetic advancements of the chair shape. Cornett sought to deal with the issues of his existence, Jones continues; their massiveness supplied a feeling of safeguard, the virtuosity in their layout and building, a sense of vainness. Jones additionally compares different zone craftsmen and their perspectives approximately their paintings.
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Additional info for Craftsman of the Cumberlands: Tradition and Creativity
Which is where they were in the months after I took pictures of them. The shininess of these two chairs results from Harley's having varnished them. Chester neither sanded nor varnished his chairs, but several people who bought them did, finding the resulting form, the gloss itself, or both, appealing (as well as protective of the chairs). The McIntosh chair, varnished and kept indoors, exemplifies the value of good care in comparison with its mates. Chester made this settin' chair about 1955 (fig.
Expressiveness, traditions, and immediate circumstances of manufacture and use-these seemed to be important to chairmaking, at least according to the information I had recorded. Such issues could be pondered later, however. A more immediate concern was that of returning to Chester's home in late November 1965 to pick up the rocking chair that I had ordered for the museum at Indiana University and to get the two sassafras settin' chairs I had purchased for my wife and me. I also wanted to locate and photograph more of the chairs Chester had made earlier, and talk to customers.
He hewed them with an ax or hatchet, then carefully shaped them eightsided with a drawing knife, and finally used a pocketknife to cut "notchin"' reminiscent of chisel work done on a lathe. TECHNIQUES Not every chairmaker procures all his materials or executes by himself all the many possible steps in making a chair. Because Chester was the first chairmaker I observed at work and because he did so much of the work himself, I use him as a model in the following description, with occasional reference to other craftsmen I met later.
Craftsman of the Cumberlands: Tradition and Creativity by Michael Owen Jones