Woodworkers tend to be tuned in to sustainability issues—after all, their craft relies on a finite resource. New titles include several that emphasize recycled materials or are otherwise mindful of creating something meant to last.
Creating Wooden Jewelry
Sarah King. Fox Chapel, Dec.
The author makes an appeal for “designer-makers,” as she calls her potential readers, to consider using discarded, offcut, and found wood in their creations. A jewelry artist whose work has been sold at Barneys, Liberty London, and elsewhere, King leads readers through her process, her inspirations, and 20 projects—including ebony rings, oak necklaces, and walnut pendants—all meant to help them build skills as they go.
The Forest Woodworker
Sjors van der Meer and Job Suijker. Search, Aug.
Projects small (carved spoons) and larger (chairs) use green wood—recently cut and unseasoned—as a starting point, paying as much attention to exploring processes and materials as giving instruction. The authors’ mission is to reacquaint readers with what they call “old skills” while helping them reconnect with nature, develop “forest awareness,” and learn to slow down. A well-crafted greenwood chair, they point out, could last a century.
Jack A. Sobon. Storey, Oct.
Drawing on 7,000 years of tradition, Sobon, an architect who specializes in timber-frame buildings, showcases timber-framed porches, rooms, barns, and houses—all built without hammering a single nail. The book, which mingles woodworking with home construction and sustainable living, is about what Storey publisher and editorial director Deborah Balmuth calls “honest building,” aimed at people looking for “meaning through the expression of creativity.”
J.P. Strate and Liz Spillman. Page Street, Jan. 2020
Spillman and Strate, business partners and YouTuber personalities whose Rehab Life channel has 227,000 subscribers, here guide readers in how to economically build their own furniture and home decor—think butcher-block islands and midcentury-modern-style bookshelves—with rented tools, precut wood, and minimal time investment.
The Way of the Woodshop
Aleksandra Zee. Dey Street, Oct.
Instagram darling Zee (123,000 followers), a California woodworker whose desert-hued feed positions her as a lifestyle influencer as much as an artist, invites readers to find a personal aesthetic and learn the beauty of working with their hands. Projects include the practical (a worktable) and decorative (a walking stick tapestry), all of which encourage tapping into the spiritual side of the craft. “As an imperfect being,” she writes, “I find that by working with wood and all its inconsistencies, I can also tackle my own.”
Vicenç Gilbert and Frederic A. Martín. Skyhorse, Mar. 2020
Expounding on everything from species of wood to types of hardware and finishes, the authors note that it would be “pretentious” to imagine they’d summed up a centuries-old craft in one book. Instead, they write, their goal is to help readers teach themselves how to craft, thereby building a lifetime’s worth of skills and knowledge. Step-by-step projects include a bookcase, a folding table, and a magazine rack.