Jim Tolpin and I are pleased that our latest project “By Hound & Eye” is available for pre-sale through Lost Art Press. Some might ask, “How did the title of your earlier book “By Hand & Eye” morph into “By Hound & Eye”? Both books share a common source and are true to what you’ve come to expect from Lost Art Press. They bubbled up out of our exploration into the design world of the pre-industrial artisan. Aside from diving into the historical literature, we took it one critical step further, trading in our tape measures and rulers in favor of dividers, and a straightedge. That may sound extreme or even limiting, but to the contrary we passionately believe it’s the most liberating (and fun) leap you can take to unshackle the imagination. Jim has a saying each time we stumble onto some new (old) nugget, “Just the tip of the iceberg”. We are continually dazzled at the simple and profound insights unfolding before our eyes.
In short, our earlier book “By Hand & Eye” is the why behind the rich legacy of pre-industrial design, while this new workbook “By Hound & Eye” is the how. Pre-industrial builders shared a common design language that spanned cultures, time, and place. That language was what I call artisan geometry or practical geometry. Don’t let the word geometry scare you. It’s not those mind numbing proofs and theorems from your school days. In fact, almost no math is involved besides the occasional two plus one. Rather it’s a way of imagining and laying out space with dividers, a straightedge, and a ball of string. This simple language was used in antiquity to design and build great temples and cities as well as employed by our closer ancestors who used this language to skillfully to build a barn, a boat, or a cupboard. Our first book “By Hand & Eye” will change how you think and look at furniture, while the skills imparted in the workbook “By Hound and Eye” will transform how you work.
Lastly, why the Hound? We both felt this workbook should be fun, as opposed to what you might remember from the geometry of your school days. So we penned this as a light hearted journey seen through the eyes of a smart aleck dog named Snidely and a somewhat clueless and skeptical woodworker named Journeyman. We wanted to share the fun we’ve had on our journey along with making you a better woodworker.
George R. Walker
Workshop note: I’m teaching up at Lie-Nielsen Toolworks this upcoming weekend and there are still a few openings available. Join in the fun.
Hope you enjoy By Hound & Eye.
George R. Walker