LaymarCrafts Woodturning Books


One Tree is just about One Tree, exactly as it says on the Cover, this Book follows the story of a 168 year old Oak from Felling to the Commissioning of Gallery Pieces that eventually became part of the One Tree Exhibition that toured the UK. 

The Book is written by Garry Olson and Peter Toaig, who are Furniture Designers in there own right and also Contributors to this Book and it's Exhibition.

The Complete Spectrum of Wood is covered by this Book and therefore is of interest to all.

The Book starts with the Concept of this Project and the actual cutting down and dating of the One Tree Oak that was felled in 1998, the Dendro Dating and the History it saw in its life alone makes interesting reading.

Once Felled and Processed the various Planks, Slabs, Billets, Branches and even the Saw Dust and Chippings were distributed to over 70 Artists, Trades,  Craftsmen and Craftswomen where the Oak could be converted into something Practical, Decorative or Just Used.

We of course have examples of Fine Furniture for both inside and out, Woodturning and Sculpture, but perhaps the use of Oak Saw Dust to form a Sculpture took some vision to make it part of the collection.

The use again of Sawdust to Fire a Stoneware Pot shows that the Whole Tree could be put to use as was the case with the Oak Chippings used to Smoke Traditionally Cured Hams, the Bark for Tanning Leather, and the Leaves for making Paper.

Charcoal was yet another Practical By Product of the One Tree Project, but then to use the very same Charcoal to produce a Picture again shows how this whole Project was so well thought out.

Every time I look at this book I find yet another link from Tree to End Product most are obvious but some are so subtle they go un-noticed first time round.

Each pair of pages shows the resulting Product produced by the Artist, Craftsman or Tradesman, a statement of his thoughts on the One Tree Project, how he became involved and how he interpreted the Brief, you also have a Bibliography for each Person which makes each page so different from the previous or the next.

I would recommend this Book to anyone and in fact the reason I have taken so long to produce this review is too many people, most with no association to Wood, other than their like of it, have been borrowing the Book and only now do I appear to have it to myself.

One Tree by Garry Olson and Peter Toaig
Published by Merrell Publishers Ltd.  ISBN 1-85894-133-4

Turning Boxes with Richard Raffan by Richard Raffan was purchased as I wanted to make some Boxes of my own and thought such a book by such a master would make my task that much easier.

I cannot say it made it any easier but I probably avoided many, but not all, of the Pitfalls you can have when making Turned Boxes and you only have to look at the final two pages of this book, titled "Afterword" and sub-titled "Graveyard" to see that even the Masters get it wrong sometimes and credit must go to the Author in revealing  "If you have no failures, you are not trying"

The book kicks of with the by now obligatory chapter on Equipment and Tools although this is not to heavy and does list the sort of equipment you will require for Turning Boxes, but I am not quite sure why we need details for building a Lathe Stand?

In amongst this Chapter their are some snippets of items used that we perhaps would never admit to ourselves, for instance the use of 80 Grit Abrasive or near failures rescued with Superglue.

Chapter two takes through Wood Selection and Preparation, and their is a lot of useful information on how to Cut Wood with advice and solutions on what to do and what not to do when preparing wood on the Bandsaw.

Design is the next section and this takes a long look at the Form a Box should take and even should not take, with the Author again being critical of some of his own work, admitting to "Over Fussy" Design and trying to hard, this section is illustrated with examples of Turned Boxes and Line Diagrams and followed by a Gallery showing Boxes from various Turners of all nationality.

By now we are half way through the book and we start the actual process of Turning a Box and over the next four chapters Richard takes you through the various stages from making the basic Box through, Lids, Deep Boring, Box Decoration and off center Patterns.

The penultimate  two chapters cover the Variations on the Basic Box again using examples of his own designs and those of others, before finishing off with Forms, illustrating how basic Shapes and Form can be developed to make a themed series of 4, 5 or 6 Boxes.

Finally their is a brief chapter on Finishing which leaves you with what I guess we already know, that Finishing is a personnel thing and that most of us have our favourite method and that they should be easily adopted for the Boxes you make.

Turning Boxes with Richard Raffan by Richard Raffan 
Published by Taunton Press Inc.  ISBN 1-56158-224-7

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Last update 27 February 2008
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