Monday, June 11, 2018


Woodworking is a well curated woodworking book which is half tutorial/learning guide and half design/art book.  It showcases the artistry and design work of husband and wife team Andrea Brugi and Samina Langholz who re-cycle, upcycle, and transform wood into functional and elegant objects.

This is a very honest book.  The pieces which they create have artistic integrity totally without pretentiousness.  They're useful and beautiful but not delicate or fussy.  Though the book is well photographed, it feels quite natural.  The humor and love with which the artists create their objects shines through in the photos and in the objects themselves.  They represent what I would call primitive or naive.  There are no fussy furbelows or gewgaws to be found here, only solidity and purpose. 

There is a fair bit of philosophy included in the book. The authors spent a lot of content discussing their artistic choices and the merits of different woods and how they let particular pieces of wood speak to them and in a way determine what it (the wood) becomes. This is not a step by step tutorial book.  There's no rigid pattern following.  In fact, the book has no templates at all.  It's not that kind of book.

I didn't find the artist statement and philosophy at all distracting, in fact, I liked the more complete and balanced sense of artistic purpose and I think it gives a good insight into their creative process.  The reader obviously will take away the bits which apply to their own needs, but having a glimpse into their perspective and thought processes was very interesting and useful. Some of the projects in the book are fairly impractical, decorative ladders, found wood/driftwood wall hangings on a brass ring, etc.  Other projects are functional, solid and breathtakingly simple.  There's a half lap construction table with a top made from repurposed wall boards in a natural finish that is absolutely gorgeous in its simplicity.  He makes it look easy.

I don't know how practical this book would be strictly from a pattern/project standpoint.  The value of the book for me comes from the philosophy and artistry of the projects and from getting a glimpse into their creative process.  It's not a very long book, but it's lavish and really beautiful.

Five stars
144 pages, hardbound and ebook formats.
Published by Quarto - Jacqui Small publishing with a release date of 22 March, 2018.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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